Bangladesh's annual pharmaceuticals export is expected to cross $1 billion in next two years, said Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He made the statement while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the three-day Asia Pharma Expo 2020 that began at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka on Friday.
In the first half of the current fiscal year, Bangladesh exported pharmaceutical products worth $74 million -- 5.7 percent higher than that in the same period a year ago.
Salman said, "Bangladeshi companies are producing biosimilar and other advanced drugs now. The industry is also heading for production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API)."
"The exposition is helping local participants know about updated technologies in the pharmaceuticals industry," he added.
Around 530 entities from 18 countries have participated in the Asia Pharma Expo 2020, while more than 11,000 trade visitors are expected to attend the event.
The three-day international exposition will remain open from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily till Sunday.
The Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceuticals Industries in collaboration with the GPE Expo Private Limited has organised the 12th edition of the exposition, which showcases the latest pharmaceutical technologies, processes, and equipment.
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das, BAPI President Nazmul Hassan, and Director General of the drug administration Major General Mahbubur Rahman were also present, among others, at the inauguration ceremony.
The Bangladeshi pharmaceutical industry currently meets around 98 percent of the local demand for medicines, which is estimated to be a market of $3 billion a year.
Bangladeshi medicines are also being exported to 145 countries including the regulated markets of the USA, Europe, and Australia.
The pharmaceutical industry has been declared as the export thrust sector and the government has been taking various initiatives to promote the sector to cash in on its huge export potential.
In recent years, more and more drugs from Bangladesh are getting approval of the world's most stringent drug markets.
The government declared a 20 percent cash incentive for exporting API's and 10 percent for exporting finished formulations to unlock the potentials of pharmaceuticals in export markets.
More than three dozen companies are in the process of establishing plants at an API industrial park near Dhaka.