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Sep 30, 2013, 10.09 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Tax battles have given India a bad name: Sanofi

Viebacher's views on regulatory hurdles in India were evidence of the long drawn tax liability battle it has waged against the Indian IT department over the acquisition of Indian vaccine maker Shantha Biotech.

Usually, when the big boys of any industry get together, they talk shop. And it was no different at the annual general meeting of multinational drug association OPPI. CNBC-TV18's Archana Shukla reports that the discussions covered a host of issues - from intellectual property rights, to policies, to market dynamics.

Also Read: FIPB clears Shanta Biotech's proposal; Sanofi to hold 100%

This year, the Annual General Meeting of the OPPI had a decidedly French Connection - Chris Viebacher, the global chief of French drug major Sanofi. But his message did not differ from what the rest of the international pharmaceutical community has been saying for a while now.

Chris Viebacher, Global CEO, Sanofi: "IPR needs to be strengthened. FDI is needed to boost growth. It helps build capabilities."

Viebacher's views on regulatory hurdles in India were evidence of the long drawn tax liability battle it has waged against the Indian IT department over the acquisition of Indian vaccine maker Shantha Biotech. Sanofi may have received some relief from the Andhra Pradesh high court in the Rs 700 crore tax case, but Viebacher says such cases have given India a bad name.

Viebacher adds: "Vodafone issue did unnecessary harm to India's image."

Communications on regulations can be changed going forward and will make a difference now with capital flowing back.

Changing policies and pricing regimes also have global CEOs treading with caution. And some even warn of slowing fundamental growth in emerging markets. But Viebacher says that while pressures on pricing will remain across markets, he is confident of a revival down the line.

Viebacher says: "I still believe in the demographics - while Drug Pricing Control Order (DPCO) will be a pain in the short term - pressures on pricing will remain across markets - need for healthcare will drive growth."

Viebacher insists that to tap into this growth, companies will have to drop their colonial approach, which means increase focus on local manufacturing to get a strong price advantage.

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