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Ireland welcomes Indian pharma manufacturing units, offers sops

The Economic Times:  February, 2015

Hyderabad: Ireland is looking to attract more Indian pharmaceutical firms such as Dr Reddy's and Lupin to set up manufacturing plants by offering tax incentives, having already persuaded some of them to do so.

The European country, which has emerged as the world's largest net exporter of medicines worth 55 billion euros, has already attracted Indian pharmaceutical companies such as Ranbaxy, Wockhardt and Reliance Life Sciences among others.

The island nation currently has plants of eight out of the top 10 global drug makers such as Pfizer. Some of the key attractions include the low cost of real estate and living, apart from the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe.

A delegation of representatives from the Investment and Development Agency (IDA), which seeks out investments, was in Hyderabad recently to explore opportunities. "We are in talks with more Indian phar-maceutical companies in a bid to attract them to invest in Ireland given our strengths in R&D base, API process technologies and highly qualified workforce, apart from attractive cost and tax structures," said India chapter director John Kilmartin. "We attracted six investments from India last year and expecting at least eight investments this year."

Ireland has been encouraging global pharmaceutical firms to set up their manufacturing base in the country and medicines account for nearly half the country's total exports. In the last three years alone, the country managed to attract $3 billion of foreign direct investment into the biopharmaceuticals sector.

Apart from medicine makers that together pumped in over $200 million, Indian technology companies have also invested in Ireland over the years. These include Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra and HCL, among others.

"Ireland is indeed an attractive destination for most pharmaceutical and biotech companies given a strong investment support system, modern infrastructure not to mention access to a highly skilled pharmaceutical workforce," said a Lupin's spokesperson.

Ireland offers the advantage of providing access to the European Union, said India Ratings' pharma analyst Avinash Lodha.