Beijing: India Tuesday asked China to expedite clearance for its pharmaceutical companies to gain access to this country's huge market, saying that such a move would also greatly benefit the Chinese people who would be able to buy comparatively affordable drugs.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is on a four-day visit to China, met his counterpart Chen Zhu here and sought his intervention to expedite clearance for Indian pharmaceutical companies.
He told Chen that the entry of Indian pharmaceuticals to this country's market would also greatly benefit Chinese people as India produces comparatively affordable drugs.
Though it is a trade issue, Azad urged the Chinese Health Ministry to get involved to expedite the registration process, which is a long drawn out one deterring the Indian companies from entering the lucrative Chinese market in a big way.
The two ministers exchanged views on public screening for major illnesses like diabetes and cancer, officials said.
India has identified pharmaceuticals along with IT as a major area of opportunity to push its exports to China to reduce the growing trade imbalance between the two countries.
Though trade last year reached a record USD 61 billion, much of it was in China's favour.
A big opening up on IT and pharma fields could help India to catch up, Indian Ambassador to China S Jaishankar, who was present during Azad's talks with Chen, said.
Azad, who arrived here on July 10 to take part in the BRICS Health Ministers meeting which concluded yesterday, also participated in the World Population Day meeting at Tianjin city.
First Published: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 22:30