Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to increase its health sector cooperation with India and further open its doors for Indian pharmaceutical products.
"We hope to enhance cooperation in the field of health, especially in areas like telemedicine, training and doctors' exchange programmes," Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Manie, the health minister of Saudi Arabia, said Monday.
Al-Manie, who is currently in India, was speaking at a conference organised here by industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
"India is a great country and we look forward to accelerating relations between the two countries, especially in the medical field. We hope this visit to India will translate into action soon," Al-Manie said adding that he will discuss the matter with his Indian counterpart, Anbumani Ramadoss.
The visiting minister said they welcome cooperation but "do not want any compromise on quality".
He also invited Indian firms to Saudi Arabia. "Currently, 82 Indian companies are operating in our country and we want more companies to come."
Khalid Al-Marghalani, general supervisor of health information and public relations in the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health, said his country currently imports drugs worth $12 million from India and is looking forward to increase the amount.
Speaking about India's health tourism potential, Saleh Nin Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to India, said: "India is a beautiful country and a lot of our people are willing to come here. We are a small but growing country and I am sure we can be a good partner for India."
Al-Ghamdi said the health minister's visit would further open Saudi Arabian market for Indian pharmaceutical products in a major way.