The Bangladesh Associ-ation of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) is yet to get the required land from the government for setting up an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) Park for manufacturing raw materials for drugs.
Bangladesh has to import 70 per cent of the raw materials for manufacturing drugs while the rest 30 per cent is met from domestic sources.
Once the API Park is established, the dependence on import will end giving a boost to the Tk.30 billion-market of Bangladesh's pharmaceutical industry.
"The government has already assigned Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) to allot us 200 acre of land for the API Park and we are hopeful about getting the land as soon as possible," BAPI president SM Shafiuzzaman told the FE Friday.
He said in response to a long standing demand of the BAPI, the government had offered only 40 acres of land at Adamjee, near Dhaka, one year ago.
"We are optimistic that the government will be able to provide us adequate land for this purpose for the greater interest of the pharmaceutical sector," the BAPI chief maintained.
BAPI sources said Mouchak under Gazipur district and an area along the Chittagong Road under Narayangonj district are new identified locations for the proposed API Park.
"We are not sure about the final site of the park, but we are expecting it as soon as possible for the betterment of our industry," another BAPI source said.
He said once the required land is allotted, the financing for establishment of the API Park will not be a problem.
The Bangladesh pharmaceutical industry could have done better in export market had it developed facilities for the production of basic raw materials, market operators felt.
The Bangladesh pharmaceutical industry now owns some 95 per cent of the domestic medicine market worth $ 503 million.
According to available statistics, there are 164 pharmaceutical companies in the country. Of them, about 25 companies are big and they produce high quality medicines.
Bangladesh earned $ 21.26 million in 2004-05 fiscal by exporting pharmaceutical products to some 60 countries showing a whopping 67.53 per cent rise over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
A total of 25 companies are listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange. Their total share capital is worth Tk 2.99 billion.
According to pharmaceutical sector experts, Bangladesh should take full advantage of the scopes created under the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).