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Saudi Arabia eyes India's pharma products

Posted on May 10, 08:02AM | IBNS

New Delhi, May 9 : Saudi Arabia is reportedly keen to get Indian pharmaceutical products.

A Parliamentary delegation led by Abdullah Bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh, Speaker of Majlis Ash Shura (Consultative Council) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called upon Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The delegation is on a three day official visit to India.

Talking of issues pertaining to health sector, Azad shared the Indian experience in the areas of Innovations in health care service delivery; Interventions in making health care accessible and equitable and our strength in producing good quality generic drugs at affordable prices.

Azad noted that about two million Indians in Saudi Arabia account for the largest expatriate community in the country. There are a huge number of Indian doctors and nurses there too.

The Minister suggested that India could help Saudi Arabia with knowhow of setting up medical colleges as also with medicine supplies.

Azad informed that India is the 4th largest producer of pharmaceuticals in the world in terms of volume and 13th largest in terms of value.

Indian pharmaceutical products are exported to about 211 countries around the world. Indian pharmaceutical products have been acknowledged at many a UN forum for their good quality, safety and efficacy, he added.

He stated that Indian generic drugs have helped bring down the cost of immunization and treatment of various diseases worldwide. Shri Azad particularly appreciated the excellent arrangements put in place by Government of Saudi Arabia for the comfort of Haj pilgrims.

The leader of the delegation Abdullah Bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh appreciated the hospitality extended by Azad and said that they would especially welcome help from India for transfer of medical technology and also help with medical education as India possesses the technical capacity.

He said bilateral visits not only help enhance understanding between the two countries but also help highlight areas of possible cooperation.

The delegation informed that currently Kingdom of Saudi Arabia imports about five billion dollar worth of pharmaceuticals.

Considering Indian pharma companies are among the world leaders, Abdullah Bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim said they would be keen to extend the incentives given by their government to Indian pharma industry to set up base in Saudi Arabia with the objective of producing affordable medicines to meet local and regional needs.