Pharmaceutical exports from Bangladesh have witnessed a robust surge of nearly 15 percent year-on-year during the initial two months of the current fiscal year, attributed to securing international tenders and proactive measures taken by drug manufacturers.
This comes as a breath of fresh air after facing a 7 percent decline in the previous fiscal year, which was marred by global economic crises and a US dollar shortage in underdeveloped nations.
Data from the Export Promotion Bureau has revealed that medicine shipments from Bangladesh amounted to an impressive $31.64 million in July and August of 2023-24. Manufacturers, keen to avoid potential disruptions surrounding the upcoming general elections in January 2024, have ambitiously aimed to fulfill orders placed for the entire year within this month.
Industry insiders cite multiple factors contributing to this remarkable uptick in exports. Firstly, Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical companies have successfully secured tenders in importing countries, capitalizing on the gradual easing of economic volatility. This proactive approach has led to an upswing in drug exports in the past two months.
Besides, the global economy is showing signs of recovery from the adverse effects of the Russia-Ukraine war, prompting buyers to increase their orders. While this recovery is promising, pharmaceutical exports have not yet gained full momentum due to lower pricing offered by buyers in the United States and the European Union.
Renata Ltd, one of Bangladesh’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, is a prime example of how proactive strategies can yield significant growth. They have reported an impressive 60 percent growth in exports over the past two months, attributed to securing bulk orders from a single country. Renata Pharmaceuticals (Ireland) Limited, a subsidiary of Renata Ltd, has also received regulatory approvals in the European Union and Germany for the launch of drugs aimed at treating Parkinson’s disease.
Despite these positive developments, challenges persist in the industry.
The scarcity of US dollars, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, difficulties in identifying new export destinations, and complications in obtaining letters of credit for raw material imports continue to pose obstacles. Industry experts suggest that the pharmaceutical sector’s prospects may not improve significantly until the war concludes. Nonetheless, manufacturers remain committed to maintaining growth, even if it means merely keeping their heads above water during these challenging times.
The pharmaceutical sector in Bangladesh is making commendable strides in international markets, driven by strategic initiatives and global economic recovery. While there are hurdles to overcome, the industry’s resilience and adaptability signal a promising future as it strives to meet growing international demand.
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