Argentina buys Indian pharma products worth $200 million

May 4th, 2011 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) Argentina has assured India of reviewing a ban on imported pharmaceutical products and announced the purchase of drugs worth $150-$200 million from Indian firms, a statement said Wednesday.

The assurance came from Argentina’s Minister of Industry Debora Giorgy during a meeting with her Indian counterpart Jyotiraditya Scindia in Buenos Aires late Tuesday, a statement from the Indian commerce ministry said.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia raised issues relating to restriction of Indian firms from exporting pharmaceutical products to Argentina and difficulties for Indian businessmen to obtain Argentine visas.

He said these issues needed to be resolved if bilateral trade and investment were to grow.

“The Indian pharmaceutical industry is among the world’s largest and most developed. Increased market access of Indian products can benefit both the countries,” Scindia said in the statement.

The minister, who is on a 10-day tour to the South American countries, also emphasised on the need to deepen the existing preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Mercosur — a trading bloc comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

On Monday, Scindia also raised the issue of broadening of Mercosur PTA and pushed for bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement with Uruguay.

During his meeting with Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Luis Leonardo Almagro Lemas, Scindia said that the trade between the two countries needs to touch the $1 billion mark, from current levels of $110 million.

“There is tremendous possibility for bilateral cooperation and we need to deepen engagement at the institutional level and expand the strategic relationship,” he said.

He identified double tax avoidance agreement, bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement as critical future steps.

Emphasising on the need for deepening engagement with Latin American countries, the minister also identified potential areas of cooperation, including automobiles, information technology, oil, gas, textiles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

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