IDA - IrelandThe Investment and Development Agency (IDA) of Ireland has announced opening of its first office in India at Mumbai to promote the bilateral business relations with emphasis on R&D and manufacturing operations.

The office is keen in attracting the Indian pharmaceutical industry to set up their operations in the Irish market, informed Barry Andrews, Minister of State for Health and Children while announcing the launch. The Irish pharma and biotech market is recorded at €34 billion in size at present.

The Irish government has established better foreign direct investment opportunities in the country to attract more global firms to set up their operations in the country. The Indian office will open a gateway for the domestic companies to expand and develop their business not only in Europe but also to manage the operations in North America through setting a foothold in Ireland, said the minister.

"We are extremely pleased to celebrate the establishment of our first office here in Mumbai. The resources of IDA Ireland are now available to assist Indian companies who want to move to Europe," said Barry Andrews.

Apart from lower corporate tax structure 12.5 per cent, besides value added tax, for industries across the board, the government could also contribute upto 50 per cent of the R&D cost for pharma companies depending on certain criteria, said Brendan Rossiter, director for Europe and India, IDA Ireland. Currently, only companies like Daiichi Ranbaxy and Wockhardt have their presence in the Irish market. The country is also keen to welcome the generic players to work in the market, he added.

"We are encouraging all kind of pharma operations including generics, R&D and formulations business in the country. Obviously, generic is one of the most growing business and Indian companies already have their presence in Ireland," said Rossiter. The interest of Indian companies to the Irish pharmaceutical market has been increased in the past three to four years and the IDA Ireland is opening its doors to more firms for business, he informed.

The agency has invited the Indian companies to work in all the areas including contract manufacturing, formulations business, R&D and marketing in Ireland. The operations could either be through wholly owned subsidiaries or through collaboration with Irish firms. Besides, the Science Foundation, a sister agency of IDA for research collaborations would support the companies in R&D tie ups with the Irish firms.

With almost 90 per cent of its production caters to exports business, recession has affected the country. However, the government has come up with stimulus package of eight billion Euros, which is around five per cent of the GDP, in the budget and the situation is evolving rapidly, informs the minister.

The Irish government is looking forward to improve bilateral trade with the Indian industry, said Kenneth Thompson, Ambassador of Ireland. A science and technology agreement with India is also in preparation to link up the R&D operations of industry and the universities and scientific establishments, added the IDA Ireland.