With the success achieved in the pharmaceutical sector, Bangladesh is now becoming an important destination for global investors with its growing population and their rising capacity to spend more on healthcare services.
There are huge investment opportunities in the country’s healthcare sector especially in medical devices manufacturing, training and education programmes for caregivers and establishment of new generation hospitals as the government is providing policy support to the investors from home and abroad.
Local regulators, drug manufacturers and other stakeholders made the observations at a session on the first day of the two-day International Investment Summit-2021 that began at Radisson Blu hotel in the city on Sunday.
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) organised the international summit aiming to present investment opportunities in the country those have taken place in the recent years.
President to Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) Nazmul Hassan made a keynote presentation while Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Prof Dr AFM Ruhal Haque chaired the session.
Panelists of the session included Director General (DG) of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) Major General Md Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director (MD) of Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd Tapan Chowdhury, MD of Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital Prof Dr Md Jonaid Shafiq, President of Bangladesh Medical & Dental Council (BM&DC) Prof Mohammod Shahidullah, and Chairman of Aichi Medical Group Prof Dr Md Moazzem Hossain.
The BAPI Senior Vice President Abdul Muktadir moderated the session.
Nazmul Hassan said Bangladesh pharmaceuticals industry has been a vibrant success story as it locally manufactures 98 per cent of the demand. Export volume is increasing as well.
"Now the country is entering into the high valued pharma products and local manufacturing of API, the pharmaceutical raw materials," he said adding that the estimated size of pharmaceutical market is around US$3.0 billion.
$1.0 billion have been invested in the country's pharma industry within the last five years for capacity expansion or upgradation as the sector is enjoying various policy support including favourable provisions in the National Drug policies, recognition as a thrust sector, and incentive on export.
Referring to the Covid-19 treatment related drugs' local manufacturing by several companies, he said Bangladeshi companies are gradually drawing international attention for the cheapest but quality drugs.
In his speech, Mahbubur Rahman said though Bangladesh has been successful with the drugs, it has huge dependence on medical device import.
"Investors can invest in Bangladesh's medical device, API, personalised, and biosimilar drugs manufacturing sector," he said adding that the geriatric or old age related healthcare service sector does also have huge prospect for the investors.
Prof Mohammod Shahidullah said there are huge scopes in Molecular biological products, biosimilar, stem cells and vaccines manufacturing in Bangladesh.
He also highlighted on establishing specialised healthcare facilities in the country as huge number of people go overseas for treatment every year.