India seeks greater Pharma market access in Japan

India is seeking greater market access for the domestic pharmaceuticals sector in the Japanese market as India’s share in the Japanese drug market continued to be below par.
It was announced by Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in seminar on promoting India’s exports to Japan under India-Japan CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) in New Delhi.
Why India seeks greater Pharma market access in Japan?

  • India’s strength in pharma sector is well established. Share of India in the Japanese drug market continued to be low. It is limited mostly to active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).
  • Japanese pharmaceutical market offers a huge untapped potential for Indian pharma industry. This is coupled with the decision of Japanese Government towards attaining an 80% share of generic medicines by 2018.
  • This will provide an opportunity for the generic drug industry of India. Thus, it will be win-win situation for both countries as there is demand for generic medicines in Japan and India has capability to meet this demand.


  • Japan is one of the closest and most reliable trading partners of India.
  • Both countries bilateral ties were elevated to status of special strategic and global partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to Japan in 2014.
  • The CEPA between both countries is one of the most comprehensive agreements concluded by India and it had come into force in August, 2011.
  • The bilateral trade between India and Japan pre-CEPA in 2010 was $10.4 billion and currently in 2016 stands at $14.5 billion.
  • However, India’s trade deficit with Japan increasing from $3.1 billion before the CEPA was inked in 2011 to $5.2 billion thereafter.



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