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Egypt and India ties in pharmaceuticals encouraged

Published on 11/04/17 at 09:36am

India and Egypt have been tentatively trying to build economic links for the last few years, with a particular focus on the pharmaceutical industry being the bridge to bind the two. This move culminated in the breaking of ground of Sun Pharma’s first production facility in Africa, with construction beginning at the start of the year. Now, there have been further noises along these lines with India’s Ambassador to Egypt, Sanjay Bhattacharyya, using the international pharmaceutical exhibition, Pharmaconex 2017, to advocate closer collaboration.

Currently, India’s pharma exports to Egypt are worth $162 million but in an import-dominated market, as Egypt is, this represents only a small share, as European countries have come to dominate the export trade. Currently, Switzerland (25%), Germany (15%), France (13%) and Belgium (11%) dominate the market, according to BMI Forecast.

India will be hoping to make serious inroads into this market and India’s ambassador was direct in his language to this effect: "Pharmaceutical is something in which India seeks to be a global leader. We already have great advantages in terms of providing affordable and reliable medication. Egypt is a huge market in which we see growing export potentials as well as possibilities of investments. We are hoping that the Egyptian market, which is so mature, will provide us with the base also to expand to other parts of the region, the Arab world and Europe," Bhattacharyya said at the event.

There were eighteen India pharmaceutical companies participating at the event, held in Cairo, and it could be seen as attempt to pitch a pivot towards importing greater numbers of India’s pharmaceuticals. In the previously mentioned story of Sun Pharma’s opening of a plant in Egypt, the company was considering pulling its investment out of Egypt before a reversal of this decision. Ambassador Bhattacharyya also played a role in trumpeting the benefits of increased trade between the two countries during this process.

Ben Hargreaves

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