BANGLADESH DRUG FIRMS EYE AFRICAN MARKETS

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Sudan is aiming to boost bilateral trade with Bangladesh. The country is offering bursaries for Bangladeshi students and could boost supplies of skilled workers and pharmaceuticals from the country. Bangladesh currently has peacekeeping forces in Sudan, which has suffered two years of civil war in its western Darfur region.

Bangladesh is eager to increase exports of pharmaceuticals to emerging markets. A 20-member delegation from the country's drug industry has carried out a two-week tour of six African countries, including Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia. Bangladesh's Ministry of Commerce and its Export Promotion Bureau also aim to enter African markets currently lacking drug manufacturing facilities.

It is also hoped that the North African states will provide Bangladesh with a way into the Middle East's lucrative drug market. Bangladesh's drug exports more than doubled in 2004 to US$50mn.