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The collaboration between the United States and India lie at the heart of our strategic interests in Asia. India has the sixth largest economy in the world in nominal terms and nearly one-fifth of the global population, with a long tradition of entrepreneurialism and democratic governance. India is already an important market for US goods and services and has the potential to become a crucial link in the global manufacturing supply chain.

While the fundamentals of this relationship are strong, below are some priorities to strengthen this partnership further in the coming year.

Through these priorities we see tremendous opportunity to deepen the US-India relationship, to the mutual benefit of both countries.

Health Care

The US-India healthcare partnership is based on the compelling need for improved healthcare, greater access, affordability and early availability of advancements in modern diagnostics, medicines and treatments for both the populations. While India supplies over 40% of the US generic demand and, in doing so, reduces the healthcare costs of the country, US has helped India with access to the latest advancements in medical technologies, devices, new innovative medicines and access to cutting edge medical science to serve unmet healthcare needs of its population. In future this partnership will be critical for robust public health ecosystem and below are three critical areas suggested for new US administration to engage with India on priority.

The United States and India need to explore healthcare partnership models for robust disease surveillance & data sharing, focus on investments in healthcare research to prepare and fight against new pathogens, assured supplies at the time of global crisis, and development of new hubs of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Diversifying supply chain and imports from trusted partners should be the key priority for the new administration. While on-shore manufacturing should be strengthened by all means and encouraging Indian manufacturers to setup manufacturing in US, leveraging manufacturing strength of India to maintain resilient supplies of affordable drugs from India should be part of overall strategy. Outside US, India is hub for largest US FDA approved manufacturing facilities. Given its technical maturity, skilled manpower, affordable labour, investments and policy boost by government, India could be a preferred destination for US manufacturers for relocation and establishment of manufacturing base not only to serve India’s huge market but also exports to the US for secure supplies.Exclusive bilateral trade agreements securing reliable stable supplies, assured long term contracts to manufacturers and support to Govt of India in ramping up its domestic productions by growing number of US FDA complying facilities should be a common agenda of utmost importance for both the countries.

Prioritize closure on Trade Margin Rationalization, continued access to advance technologies to Indian population and supporting Indian government in its Make in India drive through collaborative research and technology co-operations in medical devices should be among top priorities for Biden administration for India. To encourage domestic manufacturing, recent policy amendments by Government of India not only restricts access to high risk medical devices to a large section of population but also discourage US industry to investment in India. We recommend frequent dialogues between the new administration and the Government of India to establish partnerships in these sectors. India will also need to remain committed to maintaining a stable policy environment.

The Indian government is already actively courting US investment through lucrative policies and incentives to boost domestic manufacturing of devices, pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals and ancillaries. India will need to address key concerns of investors like regulatory predictability, progress on joining regulatory harmonization with global standards, protection for innovations and rationalized pricing policies addressing access, affordability without compromising on business sustainability. Joint working groups between US and India to share technical expertise and best practices on regulatory and manufacturing advancements would allow greater investments to India and help US in enhanced access to affordable quality products for its population.

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