Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical industry has achieved a significant milestone by exporting health products to 131 countries across Asia-Pacific, Europe, America, Australia, and Africa, as reported by insiders. The local medicine manufacturers have successfully diversified their export market, making strides not only in neighboring South Asian nations like Sri Lanka and Afghanistan but also penetrating the lucrative United States market, ranking third in foreign-exchange earnings from the world’s largest economy.
Recent data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) reveals that Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical-export earnings for the fiscal year 2022-23 totaled $175.425 million. Of this, a notable $15.25 million shipment was made to the United States, showcasing the industry’s growing presence in the American market.
Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies also recorded their highest exports to Myanmar, with shipments valued at US$25.818 million, constituting 14.72 percent of the total annual turnover in the expansion process. Sri Lanka emerged as the second-largest market, importing health products worth $21.91 million from Bangladesh.
An analysis conducted by Financial Express (FE) indicates that the top 15 importers of Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical products include the United States, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Kenya, Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nepal, Jamaica, Nigeria, Denmark, Somalia, and Australia, highlighting the broadening global reach of the industry.
Despite a slight dip of 7.08 percent in pharmaceutical-product exports during FY2022-23, Bangladesh’s local manufacturers have successfully diversified their markets across the globe, compared to just two decades ago when the industry was present in less than 30 countries. Now, it has expanded to over 130 destinations.
Zahangir Alam, Executive Director (Finance) of Square Pharmaceutical Limited, remarked that the company’s pharmaceutical exports have seen remarkable growth in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the USA. Looking ahead, the company aims to further expand into untapped markets, especially in Latin America. Square Pharma has already obtained certification from Brazil, indicating its commitment to spreading its wings wider.
“I hope Bangladesh’s market diversification will continue, and the country’s total export volume will be boosted in the coming years,” stated Mr. Alam, expressing optimism for the industry’s future.
Dr. Arifur Rahman, a market analyst and honorary fellow of K2W Communications & Research, recognizes the vast potential for Bangladesh to further expand its pharmaceutical market to different Southeast Asian, African, Central Asian, and Latin American countries. He emphasized that the government should play a facilitating role by providing more policy and fiscal support to boost the country’s overall foreign-exchange earnings.
According to ACI Pharma, another prominent player in the industry, the firm currently exports to 30 countries, including Kenya, Ivory Coast, the Philippines, Nepal, and Myanmar, and has obtained product-marketing approval from an additional 15 countries.
The success of Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical industry in diversifying its export markets bodes well for the country’s economic growth and international standing, as it continues to carve a significant place in the global pharmaceutical landscape.