India, Iran finalise rupee as trade currency

Usha SharmaMumbai

The Indian rupee has been made the official currency for trading between India and Iran. It has also been decided that UCO Bank will be the official bank for transactions.

Following this conclusion after a long debate, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) is organising a business delegation trip to Tehran from December 17-19, 2012 in order to boost pharma exports between the two countries.

The total pharma market in Iran is $3.2 billion, divided between generics (contributing $1.78 billion), patented drugs ($1.13 billion) and OTC drugs ($0.36 billion).

Commenting on this latest development, Dr PV Appaji, Executive Director, Pharmexcil said, “The Government of India is keen on improving pharma exports to Iran. After a long debate, both the countries have agreed that rupees is going to be the official currency for trading purpose. India imports huge quantities of oil from Iran and the Government of India is thus trying to balance trade between both the countries.”

Appaji continued, “Iran needs bulk drugs and our objective is to supply materials to Iran. After the recent communication between India and Iran we had taken a delegation to Iran. We are taking a 25-member delegation to Iran from December 17-19, 2012 to continue this exchange. On the same trip, we will be organising meetings with local pharma manufacturers, importers, as well as trade associations. The Indian Embassy is coordinating with us to accelerate this process.”

In the last three years, exports from India to Iran have observed a downward trend. During 2009-10, the bulk drugs exports were $69 million, which decreased by eight per cent to $61 million in 2010-11. However, it showed an upward trend of one per cent from $61 million to $62 million in 2011-12. Similarly the formulations business also observed an increase of six per cent from $45 million 2009-10 to $51 million 2010-12. However, there has been a dip to $36 million in 2011-12.

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