This article narrates PM Modi’s visit to US stressing Make in India campaign and what it means to the Life Science Sector.

FDI & IP: Key Takeaways for the Life Science Industry following the Indian PM Narendra Modi’s first visit to the US

Considered to be one of the most auspicious times in the Hindu calendar, PM Narendra Modi reached out to U.S. companies whilst observing a seven day fast for Navratri. His first visit on American soil was a stunning success with the rock star meeting in Madison Square, a stroll with President Barack Obama by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the meetings with major U.S. companies to understand the challenges of conducting business in India. READ ALSO: Entry Strategies for Foreign Investors in India.

Come Make in India:

The Prime Minister met the CEOs of two life science companies: Merck and Hospira. Modi’s message is clear: “Come Make in India“. He has initiated several projects to show that India is open to business. Accepting that challenges linger, he has expressed determination in resolving them and making India an investor friendly country. READ ALSO: Why Make in India?

The Joint Statement issued following the visit covered a range of discussions. For the Life science sector the two key concerns addressed were Intellectual Property (IP) and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)

Intellectual Property(IP) :

A ‘high level’ Intellectual Property (IP) Working Group will be created to address the issues of great concern to the U.S. innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in India. In the past, the government has shown reluctance to discuss difficult IP issues. This working group allows the industry to directly discuss the challenges and opportunities with the Indian government at a decision making level.

Foreign Direct investment (FDI):

The influx of economic resources and the technology transfer that FDI entails, is necessary for the growth in the Indian life science industry. Limits in foreign ownership, management control, prerequisite government approvals, impact on local businesses are some of the challenges that life science sector faces for FDI. Another area of great concern is health insurance. The lack of proper reimbursements for medical expenses has resulted in unsophisticated product offerings. The IP working group will focus on these issues to encourage FDI to achieve the goal of Make in India and encourage expansion in this industry. READ ALSO: 100 per cent FDI for Medical Devices.

The advent of a new government in India is a natural opportunity to broaden and deepen relationships between the U.S. and India. Work on revitalizing ties in the life science sector is paramount and the improvement in IP protection will invariably result in increased FDI in this sector. Watch this space to stay updated on how the two largest democracies in the world move forward in this exciting phase of growth and development and how Make in India proceeds.

Indian PM Modi addressing a gathering of 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden

Addressing business leaders at the US-India Business Council.