(Nurul Islam Hasib): Bangladesh’s burgeoning drug industry is set to make its foray into Qatar market sometime next year as part of an effort to focus on the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
“As regard the size of the market, Qatar is a country of 2.5 million people only, but since Qatar is the hub of MENA, any inroads in Qatar will definitely expand the market automatically,” Bangladesh ambassador in Doha, Ashud Ahmed told bdnews24.com following a pharmaceutical delegation’s visit to Qatar.
The MENA is a region of countries that includes the area from Morocco in northwest Africa to Iran in southwest Asia and down to Sudan in Africa.
It accounts for approximately 6 percent of the world’s population, 60 percent of the world’s oil reserves and 45 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves. Many of the 12 OPEC nations are within the MENA region.
The 14-member delegation led by the Secretary General of the Association of Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) S M Shafiuzzaman also attended a Bangladesh embassy organised seminar on the business opportunities.
During the seminar, the embassy in a statement earlier said, Qatari authorities expressed their keen interest in purchasing Bangladeshi medicines soon.
“Qatar is looking for alternative sources to meet its enhanced demands created because of the ongoing blockade, so their businessmen are exploring possibilities of importing medicines from Bangladesh,” the ambassador said.
“If the interest and momentum that has generated among the medicine importers can be followed up properly and aggressively, it can safely be said that importation of Bangladesh medicine can be started very soon, may be from mid next year,” he told bdnews24.com, in an email response.
Bangladesh, after meeting local demand, exports to a number of countries including the US and the European markets. It also sends some products in the gulf region.
Bangladesh can make generic drugs without any intellectual property rights until 2033 due to its classification as a Least Developed Country.
Qatar is exploring new markets due to the Saudi-led blockade.
Bangladesh has also taken a series of programmes to diversify the present labour-based bilateral relations and to untap the potential of trade, tourism, investment and cultural exchanges.
Representatives of the Amico Laboratories Ltd, Beacon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Delta Pharma Ltd, General Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Hudson Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Opsonin Pharma Ltd and UniMed & UniHealth Manufacturers Ltd comprised the Bangladesh delegation in Qatar. (Source: bdnews24.com)