Indonesian drug makers wary of India's entry plan

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Following a visit from Indian industrialists to Jakarta, the International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group (IPMG), which represents 34 internationally well-recognized companies in Indonesia, says the government must draw regulations to restrict new players from producing drugs already available in the domestic market.

A delegation headed by India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma voiced interest in investing in Indonesia's pharmaceutical sector, in addition to investments in medical equipment, on Monday.

The delegation met with several top government officials during their visit, including Industry Minister MS Hidayat and Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan.

"I personally do not find any problem with them investing in Indonesia because everyone should be given the chance to invest here," IPMG chairman Luthfi Mardiansyah told The Jakarta Post.

"However, those investors must bring their own added value to prevent unhealthy competition from arising between drug producers," he said, adding that these drugs must be "innovative drugs unavailable in the local market".

"They should not just produce antibiotics, which you can find plenty of already," he continued.

He added that the quality of the drugs must be monitored "for the safety of the patients".

"Therefore, the government should regulate that only good quality, not-yet-available drugs are produced by future investors," he said.

During past visits, Indian delegations have also asked for improvements in the registration time frame at the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM).

According to Hidayat, besides voicing their interest in the pharmaceutical sector, the delegates also pointed out that they found Indonesia's manufacturing and infrastructure sectors "appealing".

"They inquired whether they could participate in projects based on a public-private partnership [PPP]," the minister added.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono aimed to secure a US$15 billion investment from India during a state visit last year. Meanwhile, the Indonesia-India trade target has been set at $25 billion for 2015.

The delegates pointed out that they have invested approximately $7 billion in projects largely related to infrastructure development in South Sumatra and East Kalimantan, in addition to the Trimex Sands titanium complex in Papua, Hidayat said.

In addition to investment opportunities, the delegates also spoke about the surplus of Indonesian imports India was facing, given that India was a large importer of Indonesian coal and coconut palm oil (CPO), he added.

"I have mentioned to them that by 2014, it will become increasingly difficult to export raw materials, especially coal. Thus, they must be prepared to form partnerships related to refinement of minerals or smelting facilities," he said.

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report 51 minutes ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them.

  • Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day 12 hours ago
    Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day

    If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one.

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 13 hours ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.