BANGLADESHI DRUG EXPORTERS TARGET SRI LANKA
Bangladeshi drugmakers are to receive enhanced market access for products in Sri Lanka, according to Bangladesh's Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). Local pharmaceutical firms launched six drugs in Sri Lanka in January, with a further 31 awaiting registration.
Industry observers claim that the news will enable Bangladeshi drug exporters to gain a strong footing in the Sri Lankan market, of which 100% is imported.
Bangladeshi pharmaceutical exports have risen sharply in recent years. In 2001, exports of drug raw materials were US$5.03m. By 2004, this figure had swollen to US$240.47mn. The country now has 233 domestic drug producers with a combined output of US$640.3mn, although only 42 branded drugs are exported.
This looks set to change in the coming years, as Bangladesh increasingly seeks
export opportunities in the neighbouring region, as well as in North Africa
and the Middle East. Meanwhile, recent changes to World Trade Organisation (WTO)
provisions could ease the ability of developing nations, such as Bangladesh,
to export generic versions of drugs under compulsory licence to nations without
the capability to produce them domestically.