My colleague in the cabinet, Shri Mansukh bhai, President of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance Shri Samir Mehta, Chairman of Cadilla Healthcare limited Shri Pankaj Patel, Distinguished Participants,
At the outset, I congratulate the Indian Pharmaceutical Association for organizing this Global Innovation Summit.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the importance of the healthcare sector into sharp focus. Whether it is lifestyle, or medicines, medical technology, or vaccines, every aspect of healthcare has received global attention over the last two years. In this context, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has also risen to the challenge.
The global trust earned by the Indian healthcare sector has led to India being called the ''pharmacy of the world'' in recent times. Employing nearly 3 million people, and generating a trade surplus of about thirteen billion dollars, the Indian pharma industry has been a key driver of our economic growth.
The combination of high quality and quantity, at affordable prices, has generated immense interest in the Indian pharma sector around the world. Since 2014, the Indian healthcare sector has attracted over 12 billion dollars in Foreign Direct Investment. And, there is still potential for much more.
Our definition of wellness is not limited by physical boundaries. We believe in the well-being of the entire humankind.
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः।
And, we have shown this spirit to the whole world during the Covid-19 global pandemic. We exported life-saving medicines and medical equipment to over 150 countries during the initial phase of the pandemic. We have also exported more than 65 million doses of Covid vaccines to nearly 100 countries this year. Over the coming months, as we ramp up our vaccine production capacities, we will do much more.
The importance of innovation has been reinforced in the COVID-19 era in all walks of life. The disruptions forced us to re-imagine our lifestyles, the way we think and work. In the context of the Indian pharma sector too, the speed, scale and willingness to innovate has been truly impressive. For example, it is this spirit of innovation that led to India becoming a major producer and exporter of PPEs. And, it is the same spirit of innovation that led to India being at the forefront of innovating, producing, administering, and exporting Covid-19 vaccines.
The same spirit of innovation is reflected in the steps being taken by the Government of India to encourage growth in the pharma sector. Last month, the Government has released a draft document out-lining the ''Policy to Catalyze Research and Development and innovation in the Pharma-Medtech Sector in India''. This Policy reflects India's commitment to encourage R and D in Pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Our vision is to create an eco-system for innovation that will make India a leader in drug discovery and innovative medical devices. Our policy interventions are being made based on wide consultation with all stakeholders. We are sensitive to the industry demands on regulatory framework and are actively working in this direction. The industry has got a major boost through the Production Linked Incentive schemes worth over Thirty Thousand Crores Rupees for the Pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
The support of industry, the academic world and specially our talented youth is important. That is why we are encouraging collaborations between academia and Industry. India has a large pool of scientists and technologists with a potential to take the industry to greater heights. This strength needs to be harnessed to ''Discover and Make in India''.
I also wish to highlight two areas which I want you to explore carefully. The first on relates to raw material requirements. While we have been fighting COVID-19, we found that this was one issue that needs much more attention. Today, when 1.3 billion people of India have taken it upon themselves to make India Aatmanirbhar, we must think about ramping up domestic manufacturing of key ingredients for vaccines and medicines. This is one frontier that India has to Conquer.
I am sure that investors and innovators are keen to work together to overcome this challenge as well. The second area relates to India's traditional medicines. There is now significant and growing demand of these products in the international market. This can be seen through the sharp rise in exports of these products in the recent years. In 2020-21 alone, India exported herbal medicines worth over One Point Five Billion Dollars. The WHO is also working to set up its Global Centre for Traditional Medicines in India. Can we think of more ways to popularize our traditional medicines in line with global requirements, scientific standards and best manufacturing practices?
I invite you all to Ideate in India, Innovate in India, Make in India and Make for the World. Discover your true strength and Serve the World.
We have the talent, resources and eco-system required for innovation and enterprise. Our rapid strides, our spirit of innovation, and the scale of our achievements in the pharma sector have been noticed by the world. This is the best time to move forward and scale new heights. I assure global and domestic industry leaders and stakeholders that India is committed to enhance the eco-system for innovation. May this summit serve as the flagship event to strengthen the Indian Pharmaceutical industry's position in R&D and Innovation.
I once again congratulate the Organizers and wish that deliberations during this two-day Summit will be fruitful.
Thank you very much.