The longstanding demand of country’s pharmaceutical companies for a specialized park that got stuck due to complexities over acquiring lands has seen the light again following the completion of land acquisition.
The work of land-filling for the country’s first specialized industrial park – Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) Park – in Gajaria upazila of Munshiganj district for the pharmaceuticals sector
is now going on in full swing.
“The land-filling work will be completed by June next year. Once the land-filling is done, we’ll immediately allocate plots,” Industries Minister Dilip Barua told UNB over phone.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants to inaugurate the formal works of the park after completion of land-filling.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) under the Ministry of Industries has taken up the project in a bid to facilitate production of basic raw materials locally, enhance local
and foreign investment and to boost foreign exchange earning through exports.
The project is being implemented at a cost of Tk 323.50 crore on 200 acres of land, an official of the Industries Ministry said.
The industry insiders think that the API Park would make the country’s pharmaceutical industry cost effective and more competitive globally to help increase export of quality pharmaceuticals.
The construction work of the park was initially scheduled to be inaugurated formally by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on June 3 but it was deferred following complexities over land acquisition.
The then BNP-Jamaat alliance government came up with the idea in November 2001 but it had failed to implement the project. Later, in 2007, the army-backed interim government took the decision for implementation of such a project in Munshiganj district.
As per the revised project profile, there will be some 42 plots with Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) in the park with incinerators for solid and liquid waste management where individual companies will set up API plants.
Each plant will have approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the UK and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the USA so that Bangladesh can produce quality products and export those to the global market
without any hindrance, officials said.
Currently the country’s pharmaceutical sector imports 60-70 percent of its basic raw materials from the international market. The industry will be able to get rid of import dependency through
producing basic raw materials locally.
Among the Least Developing Countries (LDCs), Bangladesh has the strongest base to manufacture
pharmaceutical products though the country is addressing the need of the basic raw materials for the industry through imports from India, China, Italy and Germany.
Sources said that over 25,000 skilled workers will be employed if the project is implemented and nearly 100,000 people will be benefited indirectly. The API Park project is expected to be completed by December next year. Nearly 200 pharmaceutical companies are in operation in the country and Bangladeshi pharmaceutical products are being exported to 73 countries.
In 2001, under the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) allowed developing and poor nations to produce generic drugs until 2016
without compulsory licence or paying the patent holders.
The word ‘generic’ is used to describe a product, particularly a drug, which does not have a trademark. For example, ‘paracetamol’ is a chemical ingredient that is found in many branded painkillers and is often sold as a generic medicine in its own right.