PH eyed as hub for Indian pharma firms

MANILA (PNA) — The Philippines can be a production hub in Southeast Asia (SEA) for Indian pharmaceutical companies, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.

PCCI, the country’s largest business organization, received a business delegation from Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmaexcil) and proposed to Indian firms that the country can be an alternative manufacturing hub for Indian medicine products targeting the ASEAN market.

Indian pharmaceutical firms can also enjoy the tariff-free benefit of exporting to other Southeast Asian countries through the Philippines as the ASEAN integration will take place at end-2015.

“The Philippines should not only be a viable market for cheap Indian medicine; our country could also be an alternative production location for Indian pharmaceutical companies,” said PCCI chair Miguel B. Varela.

“The continuing presence of world-class multinational pharmaceutical companies in the country is proof of the country’s capacity to host Indian pharmaceutical production expansion in the country,” he added.

PCCI president Alfredo M. Yao, for his part, noted that aside from the zero-duty benefit of exporting to other ASEAN markets, the country has Generics Act of 1988 and the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008 that also support a market for generics medicine in the Philippines mostly from India, Pakistan and Taiwan.

The Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Lalduhthlana Ralte said the business mission of Pharmaexcil here last March 22 shows growing interest of Indian firms in the country.

Pharmaexcil is organized by Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India as an export promotion council on the South Asian country’s healthcare and pharmaceutical products in the global market.

The business mission here was led by Pharmaexcil’s committee of administration Paresh Chawla.

Among the international pharmaceutical firms that are manufacturing in the Philippines include U.S.A.’s Pfizer, UK’s GlaxoSmithKline, Germany’s Bayer, and France’s Sanofi, among others.

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