Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday asked pharmaceutical companies to explore export opportunities in untapped markets of Russia and Eastern European nations.
The minister also advised the firms to bring to his notice if the companies face any roadblock or unfair competition in a country, with which India has a free trade agreement (FTA).
He said this while interacting with representatives of pharmaceutical industry, and office-bearers of pharma associations, through video conference.
The minister said, "They should look at large untapped market in Eastern Europe and Russia and in case of ongoing bilateral FTAs, if any roadblock or unfair competition is being noticed, the government may be informed and prompt remedial action will be taken".
Pharma exports in 2019-20 grew by 8 per cent to $20.7 billion as against $19.14 billion in 2018-19.
Eastern european nations include Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Moldova.
Calling upon a collaborative route in the R&D efforts, Goyal said academicians, universities, ICMR and private sector should join hands.
Informing the industry that the government has decided to disinvest in certain pharma PSUs, the minister invited the Indian companies to use PSUs for plug and play model of manufacturing.
He assured that all suggestions presented in the meeting will be quickly examined and wherever required, the inter-ministerial consultations will be completed at the earliest.
The minister also said that the country should become self reliant in APIs (active pharma ingredients) as early as possible, as the government has taken a number of steps in this regard.
It has already approved the scheme on promotion of bulk drug parks for financing common infrastructure facilities in three such parks.
Also, production linked incentive scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical KSMs (key starting materials)/drug intermediates and APIs in the country has been given a go ahead, he said.
During the interaction, he said India has supplied essential medicines, during the last two months, to over 120 countries.
"India had adequate production capacity and abundant stock of HCQ (hydroxyxholoroquine) and PCM (paracetamol) for its projected domestic requirements," he added.
The meeting was also attended by Minister of State Som Parkash, Secretaries of commerce and pharmaceuticals departments.