Bangladesh is almost self-sufficient in the pharmaceutical sector thanks to the significant progress the industry made in the last three decades, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said.
“About 98% of the local demand is being met by domestic manufacturers,” he said at the opening of the ninth Asia Pharmaceutical Exposition on Thursday in Dhaka.
More than 500 companies from 35 countries are taking part in the three-day event organised jointly by Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) and GPE Expo Pvt Limited at the International Convention City Bashundhara.
It will remain open from 10am to 6pm. Local entrepreneurs will be able to learn about modern technologies and raw materials for drugs at the expo.
BAPI secretary SM Shafiuzzaman said the pharmaceutical sector was “directly contributing to the country's economic development.”
“We are now exporting to more than 127 countries after meeting 98% of the local demand,” he added.
BAPI adviser Salman F Rahman said the sector has grown consistently and continues to expand.
“It has matured. There's a huge demand for medicine in the global market. We could have exported more but the export process is complex and time consuming,” he said. “The government should make the process easier.”
Minister Tofail said the demand was “genuine.”
“The pharma sector is exporting high quality medicine after meeting local demands,” he said. “Bangladesh is the largest producer of formulated drugs among the Least Developed Countries.”