New policies pertaining to intellectual property rights, foreign direct investment and customs and excise duties were expected to give a fillip to the high potential industry, a theme paper circulated at the International Pharma and Health conference in Hyderabad said on Thursday.
"India's strength lies in its large consumption market, liberalised economy and stable democracy, making it an ideal option for foreign direct investment in all branches of scientific industries in general and biotechnology industry in particular," the note by the department of biotechnology said.
With more than 800 companies engaged in production of conventional and modern biotech products, the biotechnology industry had emerged as future engine of growth particularly in medical, agricultural and industrial sectors.
"With increasing demand for human and animal health care products, there is a huge potential for joint ventures. The country is expected to invest about 4 billion US Dollar in during the current decade," the report said.
Earlier, the Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry E V K S Elangovan inaugurated the two-day India-Africa, ASEAN and Gulf conference aimed at showcasing India's capabilities in pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors.
The delegates from 17 countries representing Association of South East Asian Nations, Africa and Gulf Cooperation Council are participating in the conference,
which will also explore joint ventures and partnerships to tap the growing business potential in the sectors.
The conference would provide a platform for several leading drug manufacturers and importers and representatives of regulatory authorities to interact and evolve strategies for boosting cooperation among the countries in these regions, D B Mody, chairman, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), and Jayanth Dasgupta, Joint Secretary in the Union Commerce department, said.
Coinciding with the event, the 57th Indian Pharmaceutical Congress and Pharma Expo 2005 would be organised.
Registering an annual growth rate of 30 to 35 per cent, the country's pharma exports, which stood at Rs 17,000 crore (Rs 170 billion) last year, were expected to touch Rs 62,000 crore (Rs 620 billion) by 2009-10.
As many as 40 delegates from Africa, 33 from ASEAN and 15 from GCC region are attending the conference, besides Indian delegates."We are not only looking at boosting exports but also exploring joint ventures, collaborative projects, clinical trials and training of scientists and other related activities in pharma and health care sectors," Mody said.