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Exporters seek N324bn pharma trade

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…as Nigeria imports drop 57.3%

As Nigeria imports dropped by 57.3 per cent in the last two years, India’s pharmaceutical exporters are seeking (N324 billion) $900 million trade in 2018.
Their major target is Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoir. Indian exporters said that while an estimate of $600 million would be exploited in Nigeria, $300 million worth of generic medicines in Cote D’ Ivoire would be sold this year.
It was learnt that between 2016 and 2017, the country lost pharma trade valued at $256 million because of foreign exchange scarcity.
Last year, the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), said that Nigeria, which was one of the leading importers of Indian high quality generics, consumed medicines valued at $344 million in 2016/17.
Also, it noted that India had exported $ 31 million worth of medicines to Cote d’ lvoire in the period.
As part of efforts to regain its market share, the council said that it would venture into Nigerian and other African markets from February, 2018.
It listed DCR Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia as other important export destinations for the Indian pharmaceutical firms who have already captured major chunk of market share in Nigeria.
The council’s Director General, Udaya Bhaskar said: “We are proposing a business delegation to Africa, where member firms will be able to take part in business meetings with their counterparts, traders and suppliers in Nigeria, Cote d’ Ivoire and DCR Congo.”
He said that the West African region had huge potential for Indian exporters.
It would be recalled that pharma exports to Nigeria from India had gone down since the beginning of fiscal 2016, causing concern among the exporters and government.
It was learnt that importers had not been placing order for the products due to dearth of forex.
According to a report by the council, Nigeria had become the largest export destination of India’s pharmaceutical products with annual growth rate of 12.72 per cent up till 2015.
Apart from the forex issue, the council indicated that during 2015 and 2016, the Indian pharma industry achieved about 10 per cent growth in exports worth $17 billion globally, but in 2017, it said that pharmaceutical products export was not rosy as usual, especially in Nigeria.
India’s total pharmaceutical exports to Nigeria increased to $610 million in 2015 from $161.7 million in 2014, however, it came down in 2016 and 2017.
The council noted that Indian pharmaceuticals market, which increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.46 per cent in 2015 from $6 billion in 2005, was expected to expand at a CAGR of 15.92 per cent to $55 billion by 2020.
However, the council’s report said that the projection had been altered due to the decline growth in India export markets.
The council’s report added that prior to Nigeria’s weak currency, India had maintained its lead over China in pharmaceutical exports with a year-on-year growth of 7.55 per cent to $12.54 billion in 2015.
Meanwhile, a data from PwC had indicated that Nigeria and other African countries would be the emerging markets for pharmaceutical products due to critically low levels of human resources and weak health infrastructure.
It forecast that the country would import some pharmaceuticals worth $660 million in 2016, $720 million in 2017 and $789 million in 2018.

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