Bangladesh pharmaceuticals rush begets strong health sector, bolstered exports

Need to be posted on - Top Bangladeshi companies are key to improved industries and better growth The economic growth of Bangladesh has made the headline of improvement with nearly every passing year. Exports, Gross Domestic Product, and overall functioning of Bangladeshi industries has been soaring consistently and top Bangladeshi companies such as Beximco Group have played a major role in the same with their significant contributions. Founded by one of the most successful businessmen in Bangladesh, Salman F Rahman, Beximco has its operations in various sectors like pharmaceutical, ceramics, real estate, energy, textile, and many more. Talking about textile, the ready-made garment industry is not only the largest employment provider in the country with nearly 4.5 million jobs, but is also expected to secure revenue worth approximately $40 billion in 2019. With robust government initiatives and dynamic Bangladeshi businessmen such as Salman F Rahman, other sectors have witnessed considerable growth in the last decades. Pharmaceuticals, for instance, has been another success story in itself. With companies such as Beximco Pharmaceuticals having eight products in the US market and simultaneous presence in the European and Canadian markets, Bangladesh has evolved into a recognizable force in the industry. Global market presence and product credibility can be corroborated with the approval of these drugs from leading administrative institutions, another feather in the cap of the dynamic Bangladeshi businessman. That said, in 2009, the Sheikh Hasina government presented a vision that would align Bangladesh with the technological advancements of the future. Titled ‘Digital Bangladesh’, the initiative, backed by numerous government efforts, has presented a growing technological presence in the country’s capital. Slowly penetrating into other areas, the accessibility of internet and telecommunication is not only going to revolutionize the exposure to the world, but it might also play a key role in tackling the employment issues of the country. With resources available, upcoming youth of Bangladesh is speculated to house a higher knowledge and intellect quotient. This will have a direct impact on the industry, product, and functionality improvement across Bangladesh. Considering that this holds true for the future, Bangladesh industrial growth stands to receive strong impetus.

Local Bangladesh players including Beximco Pharma, new initiatives, ramp up Bangladeshi pharmaceutical growth; gearing up for post-LDC vision

Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical sector has displayed an exponentially steadfast pace in the country’s GDP as well as inherent growth. From being heavily dependent on imports for their requirement, Bangladesh currently meets approximately 98% of its local demands with in-house manufactured pharmaceuticals. This remarkable feat has been largely achieved with the contributions from visionary businessmen such as Salman F Rahman, Founder of Beximco Group. While the country is constantly improving pharmaceutical accessibility to every corner, exports have been creating a market-scope for Bangladesh in the global climate.

Export Earnings achieve new heights

In 2016-17, pharmaceutical exports registered a 16.03 per cent growth in comparison to the previous year, as stated by the Export Promotion Bureau. Arguably the leading pharmaceutical exporter of Bangladesh, Beximco Pharmaceuticals had a standalone 8.5 per cent share. The trade stats speak volumes about the ability of home-grown Bangladeshi companies. Furthermore, pharma exports by private companies contribute significantly to the economy – consider the 1.85% contribution of the pharmaceutical sector in the country’s GDP. Add to that the sustenance of thousands as well as a new industry scope for the fledgling economy.

Spreading the exports across 144 countries, revenue numbers crossed the $100 million mark and settled at $103.46 million for 2016-17. This recent injection of Bangladesh in multiple global markets can be corroborated by the drug portfolio of local manufacturers. For instance, drug approvals by US FDA make Beximco Pharmaceuticals the only Bangladeshi company to have four products in the US market. This is further bound to open other markets for local Bangladeshi manufacturers and create an export premise for the industry.

With Beximco Pharmaceuticals’ US FDA approvals and recent entry in Canada, the pharmaceutical market of Bangladesh is successfully establishing the notion of its quality, variety, and growth in the global markets. However, continued capitalization on such milestones calls for regular up gradation of resources.

Initiatives fueled by improvement and up gradation

On an official level, the government along with its advisers has always promoted the organization of global integration events for every industry, especially pharmaceuticals. Recently, the 11th Asia Pharma Expo 2019 was held in the country’s capital with dignitaries from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare along with Prime Minister’s Adviser on Private Sector Industry and Investment, Salman F Rahman.

The exhibition serves as a platform for new-age technology providers, the entrepreneurs facilitating its manufacturing and research, and active, bulk chemical pharma companies that can discover the business opportunities in Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical industry.

Such programs are imperative to elevate the quality of products as well as enhance the presence of Bangladesh in global pharmaceutical markets. Though the current pace of growth ought to elevate the Least Developed Country (LDC) status of Bangladesh, the country needs to equip itself adequately for the forthcoming market opportunities and challenges.

Looking towards the future

With up-gradation from LDC, Bangladesh won’t be applicable to a certain set of the current benefits. Nearly 80% of Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals are generic. After LDC, they will enter the patent domain where more competition and precision will be experienced in terms of quality, sales, quantity, and other parameters. However, Bangladesh has a well-organized pharma sector with local players, demands, and exports running in a smooth flow.

Following the LDC exit, local players like Beximco Pharma are speculated to put in more efforts in terms of innovation and quality to ensure the country’s smooth transition.

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