Bilateral trade relations between Asia’s two economic superpowers have once again exceeded expectations. According to statistics released recently by the two countries, India-China bilateral trade reached US$61.7 billion, exceeding the trade target of US$60billion by 2010. The next bilateral trade target has already been set at US$100 billion by 2015.
Rising Indian imports led by Chinese machinery touched US$40.8 billion, while Chinese imports from India, mostly driven by cotton and iron ore amounted to half that – US$20.8 billion during 2010, leaving a record trade imbalance of US$20 billion in China’s favour.
As bilateral trade booms an optimistic sector worth looking into would be the pharmaceutical space especially with China set to accelerate a US$2-billion reform in its healthcare sector in coming months. Officials from China’s State Food and Drug Administration led by Mr. Zhang Mao, Vice Minister of Health recently visited India and met health ministry officials as well as executives from pharmaceutical and drug manufacturing companies as well as people involved in rural healthcare and health policy planning. A reciprocal delegation of Indian pharmaceutical companies is scheduled to visit China in March.
While China is strides ahead in administering rural healthcare and healthcare administration in urban and rural centers, collaborations with low-cost drug manufacturers is a massive opportunity between the two countries. Drugs for foreign diseases such as cancer and Aids are extremely expensive in China, sometimes four times the price, thereby rendered unattainable for China’s masses. Lastly with an ageing population, India’s role in low cost drug manufacture is vital for China to sustain a competitive healthcare regime. Moreover, both governments have been actively working together to ensure smooth trade and collaborations between the two countries in the pharmaceutical space.