Asia Pharma Expo to share technological advancements in Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical sector


Pharmaceutical is one of the exponentially growing sectors in Bangladesh. After achieving a two-digit growth rate annually, the country’s pharma sector is now progressing towards self–sufficiency for meeting the local demand, as well exporting.

The country is home to over 300 pharma companies, including the Beximco Group (headed by Salman F Rahman), Opsonin Pharma Limited, Square Pharmaceuticals etc., which collectively cater to 97 per cent of the total demand. In fact, the sector has emerged as the second largest contributor to the national ex-chequer after tobacco. Also, pharma boasts as being the largest employing sector in Bangladesh.

Salman F Rahman’s (সালমান এফ রহমান) Beximco Pharma, a division of the Beximco Group, has also ventured into the global market, and has made great investments for the establishment of top-notch manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh.

To further boost the country’s pharma manufacturing standards, Asia Pharma Expo 2018 (APE 2018) & Asia Lab Expo 2018 were recently held at Dhaka, Bangladesh. The event was a huge success as over 670 exhibiting companies from across 31 countries worldwide displayed their latest manufacturing technologies.

The event saw a huge footfall of over 11,400 trade visitors, who explored the latest pharma manufacturing technologies & products, including processing machineries, packaging machineries & materials, clean room & utility equipment & services, water treatment & management systems, analytical & biotech lab instruments, project consultants & turnkey contractors, API, pharma bulk actives, excipients, additives and much more.

This was the16th version of the exposition, which was organized by the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceuticals Industries, in alliance with GPE Expo Pvt Ltd. Over the years, APE has offered an unparalleled business platform to the huge spectrum of the pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. It has also promoted networking amongst the fraternity of pharma manufacturing plant professionals and the regulatory, research, academics, & local indenting partners. Industry domains like pharmaceuticals, healthcare, biotech, API, neutraceuticals, cosmetics, beverages and distilleries were also discussed at the expo.

Furthermore, there are brighter prospects of pharmaceutical exports from Bangladesh in the coming months. Since the inclusion of the Doha declaration in WTO/TRIPS agreement, nations that fall under the LDC category, have no compulsion to opt for pharma product patent. This implies that they can now legitimately reverse-engineer patented products, and sell in domestic as well as overseas LDC markets. This agreement creates huge export opportunities for Bangladesh, as it is amongst the handful countries that have a strong pharma manufacturing base.


Diversified conglomerate aims to take Bangladesh to the world

Like Bangladesh itself, the growth of the Beximco Group has been rapid and unprecedented. With a presence in more than 45 countries, the company is charged with being one of the country’s most important ambassadors internationally

Founded in the 1970s by two brothers, Ahmed Sohail Fasiur Rahman and Salman Fazlur Rahman, Beximco Group is the largest employer in the private sector in Bangladesh. Employing over 48,000 people worldwide, it has evolved from a modest commodities trading company to a heavily diversified conglomerate with operations in sectors as diverse as textiles, real estate development, media, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, and energy. The company operates both domestically and internationally, and combined, the industries it works in account for nearly 75% of Bangladesh’s GDP.

The country produces 99% of its domestic health requirements, in addition to now stepping up its exports. Reflecting the growth of the sector and indeed the nation, the expansion of the Beximco Group has also been rapid and unprecedented. It is now the largest exporter of pharmaceuticals in the nation, and has a global presence in more than 45 countries.

In addition to manufacturing and selling generic pharmaceutical formulation products, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), and intravenous fluids, it began exporting to the EU market in 2013, where its ophthalmic products are especially notable. Latanoprost and Timol are two drugs used to reduce the pressure inside the eye for people with open-angle glaucoma or intraocular hypertension, and are already available in Germany, Austria, and other parts of the EU. The Beximco Group’s budget-friendly generic alternatives have been a welcome addition to governments seeking to reduce healthcare costs without compromising on quality.

FDA approval
Beximco Pharmaceuticals and its facilities are already also accredited for export by the regulatory authorities of Australia, Canada, Taiwan, and Brazil, and as of June 2015, the company can boast of having tapped into another major international market. Following the successful inspection of its oral solid dosage facility in its production center at Tongi, the Beximco Group became the first Bangladeshi company to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This achievement will pave the way for the export of medicines to the U.S. market, which is famous for its exacting standards and regulations.

Among the drugs Beximco Pharma will export are its generic version of the wonder drug, Sofosbuvir, which is made by Gilead Sciences Inc. and known for its effectiveness at treating hepatitis C (it has a 90% cure rate), as well as its hefty price tag. The Beximco Pharma version – which is prescription only – costs nearly half the price per tablet, making it the cheapest treatment for hepatitis C in the world. For an idea of the market potential of this drug, it is worth noting that an estimated 170-185 million people around the globe are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus.

According to Salman F. Rahman, the Vice Chairman of the Beximco Group and one of its co-founders, the company’s decision to move into the pharmaceutical manufacturing business was its first major milestone, although in retrospect, this move aligns perfectly with the company’s mantra of ‘Taking Bangladesh to the World.’ He explains that previously, the company’s motto was ‘Diversity is Our Strength’. While this is certainly an idea that continues to ring true through the highly diversified portfolio of industries that the Beximco Group is present in, it is clear that the company is developing an increasingly global agenda.


Salman F.Rahman

Beximco Pharma is one of the limited few enterprises in Pharmaceutical Industry, which crossed the boundaries of the country to get established in the international arena with their own identity, coverage and reputation. Wise circles at home and abroad labeled Beximco Pharma as one of the top pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises much earlier. In true sense, for transformation from that position of one of a few, to the country’s best pharmaceutical enterprise of today, the person whose talent, devotion, diligence, sincerity and far-sightedness are intimately blended, is the pioneer personality of the group Mr. Salman F.Rahman also the Deputy Chairman of the group. Today, due to his competent leadership, Beximco Pharma is considered                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               as a dependable pharmaceutical exporter to USA. After emergence as a successful exporter to U.S.A., another feather was added to their crown of success by way of inclusion of the enterprise as a member of London Stock Exchange. Through this event, not only a Bangladeshi Company entered London Stock Exchange for the first time but also any Company even from amongst the countries of the Muslim world entered London Stock Exchange for the first time. In this regard Mr.Salman F.Rahman says he started to think, when neighboring India could export Medicines worth Rs.1400 Cr. a year then why could not we be able? Such precise far reaching thoughts could bring BEXIMCO to today’s position. Not only his own enterprise but also the entire Pharmaceutical industry of Bangladesh got established in honorable position amongst world’s arena for which Mr.Salman F.Rahman’s role is undeniable. In recent past, his election to the position of the President of the Pharmaceutical Industry Association proves recognition of confidence of others in his leadership. Then not only in the field of trade and commerce but also Salman F.Rahman aroused with patriotism, plays an effective role in politics. With the resolve of serving the country, by not keeping his position direct, he is indirectly involved in politics. He is the Advisor to the President of Awami League on private sector related affairs. Beximco Group with employment of 25000 will expand far more with merit and intellect of Salman F.Rahman. Everybody expects reputation and business success of this enterprise will grow further and further in the interest of the country.

Salman F Rahman, a True Inspiration!


Mr. Salman F Rahman, a top-notch entrepreneur, a successful businessman, a philanthropist and now a proud owner of Bangladesh’s largest corporate venture with an astounding turnover, the man has many accreditations to his credit. A family to more than 48,000 employees, investments in numerous business ventures under his conglomerate company, Salman has left no stone unturned to meet international standards for his giant business venture, Beximco.

Rahman is today heading numerous business enterprises under the parent company, Beximco, namely- Bangladesh Export Import Co. Ltd., Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Beximco Synthetics Ltd., Beximco Engineering Ltd. et al. He transformed the scenario of business in Bangladesh with some of his most successful ventures in the arenas of textiles, pharmaceuticals, finance and real estate. One of his most successful endeavors includes the Beximco Pharmaceuticals which gained national fame with its precious listing in the Dhaka Stock Exchange. What started as a small-scale company, this pharmaceutical company became one of the country’s biggest achievements and the nation’s pride by grabbing the limelight in the London’s Alternative Investment Exchange.

However, this inspiring personality and now one among the richest business tycoons of Bangladesh, Salman F Rahman faced a period of stress and storm owing to his humble parentage. He and his brother were left to make their own living after the demise of their father in 1966. What was left in the name of his parental property was a small-scale jute mill, which too was later confiscated by the government. Their wait to own their mill back lasted for good ten years, only after the government brought-in a relaxation in its rules. Since then, there was never looking back. With his will, enviable knowledge and a solid experience, he established an experimental company by the name Beximco in 1972. The company later expanded in terms of its revenue and potential to become the country’s largest private business enterprise.

Later, with credible investments into the banking sector of the country Salman F Rahman established the Arab Bangladesh bank in alliance with the Galadari Brothers Group, based in Dubai. He is today leading the International Finance Investment and Commerce Bank as its chairman and holds a stake of more than 30 per cent.

Salman F Rahman has made commendable contributions to uplift the ceramics sector of the country. With hard work and meticulous planning, his company has become the premiere exporter of ceramic products today. Beximco has established itself as an international brand for manufactured ceramic products. His successful ventures have surely won fame and credit to this developing country. Numerous enterprises headed by Beximco Group have made phenomenal contributions in uplifting the economy of the country. Today, he Salman F Rahman is an inspiring icon for the youth of the country.

Salman F Rahman new ATCO president


Salman F Rahman, chairman of Independent Television, was elected president of ATCO (Association of Television Channel Owners) yesterday. Ekattor TV Managing Director Mozammel Babu and Desh TV Deputy Managing Director Arif Hasan were elected senior vice president and vice president respectively of the private television channel owners’ association in Bangladesh.  The 15-member committee has been elected for a 2-year tenure. After the election, the new committee expressed its optimism to take forward the country’s rapidly expanding media industry. New ATCO President Salman F Rahman said the election of the new committee will add momentum to the activities of ATCO. He also expressed hope that various problems that exist in this industry will be solved through the new committee. The election to ATCO’s new committee was held at a hotel in the capital.

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ব্যবসায়ীদের দাবি বিবেচনা করে ভ্যাট আইন বাস্তবায়ন হবে

সালমান এফ রহমান

কার্যকর হতে যাওয়া ভ্যাট আইনে ব্যবসায়ীরা যেসব সমস্যার কথা বলেছেন তা সমাধান করেই আইন বাস্তবায়ন করা হবে বলে জানিয়েছেন প্রধানমন্ত্রীর বেসরকারি খাত বিষয়ক উপদেষ্টা সালমান এফ রহমান।

সোমবার রাত ১০ টায় রাজধানীর হোটেল সোনারগাঁওয়ে এফবিসিসিআইর আগামী মেয়াদে নির্বাচনে পরিচালক প্রার্থী প্যানেল ‘সম্মিলিত গণতান্ত্রিক পরিষদের’ সব প্রার্থীকে ভোটারদের কাছে পরিচয় করে দেয়ার জন্য আয়োজিত অনুষ্ঠানে প্রধান অতিথির বক্তব্যে সালমান এফ রহমান এসব কথা বলেন।

উপস্থিত ব্যবসায়ী নেতাদের উদ্দেশে তিনি বলেন, আমি আপনাদের আশ্বস্ত করতে চাই যে, প্রধানমন্ত্রী ও অর্থমন্ত্রীর সঙ্গে ভ্যাট নিয়ে বিভিন্ন আলোচনা হয়েছে। তাদের কাছ থেকে ইতিবাচক সাড়া পাওয়া গেছে। আইনে ব্যবসায়ীদের আপত্তি অনুসারে যেসব সমস্যা আছে বলে অভিযোগ উঠেছে সেগুলো বিবেচনা করেই আইন বাস্তবায়ন করা হবে। এ বিষয়ে আপনাদের চিন্তা করতে হবে না।

এর আগে এফবিসিসিআই’র আগামী মেয়াদে সভাপতি প্রার্থী শফিউল ইসলাম মহিউদ্দিন বলেন, এফবিসিসিআই’র মাধ্যমে ভ্যাট আইনে বেশ কয়কটি সমস্যার কথা উল্লেখ করে এনবিআরের কাছে তা সংশোধনের প্রস্তাব দেয়া হয়েছে।

কিন্তু ব্যবসায়ীদের প্রস্তাব মানা হয়নি বলে অভিযোগ করেন তিনি। ভ্যাট নিয়ে যত বড় আইন হোক, তা ব্যবসায়ীদের বিপক্ষে গেলে ঐক্যবদ্ধভাবে প্রতিহত করা হবে বলেও তিনি মন্তব্য করেন।

বিজিএমইএ’র সাবেক সভাপতি আতিকুল ইসলাম বলেন, আকাশে যত তারা এনবিআরের তত ধারা। আমরা এনবিআরকে বলবো, আসেন একসঙ্গে মিলে মিশে থাকি। ব্যবসাকে এগিয়ে নিয়ে যাই। অযথা ব্যবসায়ীদের আকাশের তারা বানাবেন না।

বর্তমানে ব্যবসার পরিস্থিতি ভাল নয় উল্লেখ করে বিজিএমইএর বর্তমান সভাপতি সিদ্দিকুর রহমান বলেন, এফবিসিসিআইর জন্য একজন যোগ্য নেতা দরকার। কারন বর্তমানে দেশে ব্যবসার অবস্থা ভাল নয়। বিশেষ করে তৈরি পোশাক খাতে খুব দূরাবস্থা চলছে। যেখানে গত ১০ বছর ধরে এ খাতে প্রবৃদ্ধি ছিল ১৩ শতাংশ বর্তমানে তা ২ দশমিক ২১ শতাংশে নেমে এসেছে। একে প্রবৃদ্ধি বলা যায় না।

অনুষ্ঠানে এফবিসিসিআই’র আগামি মেয়াদে সভাপতি প্রার্থী শফিউল ইসলাম মহিউদ্দিন তার প্যানেলে অ্যাসোসিয়েশন থেকে ১৮ জন পরিচালক প্রার্থীকে পরিচয় করিয়ে দিয়ে তাদের জন্য ভোট চেয়েছেন।

অনুষ্ঠানে ত্রানমন্ত্রী মোফাজ্জল হোসেন চৌধুরী মায়া, ঢাকা উত্তরের মেয়র আনিসুল হক, এফবিসিসিআইর সাবেক সব সভাপতি, প্রথম সভাপতি, সহ-সভাপতিসহ অন্যান্য পরিচালক ও ভোটাররা উপস্থিত ছিলেন।

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সার্কভুক্ত দেশগুলোতে অবিশ্বাস্য প্রবৃদ্ধির সম্ভাবনা রয়েছে : সালমান এফ রহমান

অর্থনৈতিক রিপোর্টার : আওয়ামী লীগ সভানেত্রীর বেসরকারি খাতবিষয়ক উপদেষ্টা সালমান এফ রহমান বলেছেন, সার্কের দেশগুলোর মধ্যে সীমানা মানুষের তৈরি। সার্কভুক্ত দেশগুলো এক জোট হলে, নিজেদের মধ্যে সহযোগিতা বৃদ্ধি করলে অবিশ্বাস্য প্রবৃদ্ধির সম্ভাবনা তৈরি হবে।
গতকাল রোববার রাজধানীর সোনারগাঁও হোটেলে দক্ষিণ এশিয়ার অর্থনৈতিক সম্ভাবনা নিয়ে সার্ক চেম্বার আয়োজিত এক আলোচনা সভায় তিনি এসব কথা বলেন। এতে সার্কভুক্ত দেশগুলোর ব্যবসায়ী, গবেষক ও সরকারি কর্মকর্তারা উপস্থিত ছিলেন।
সার্ক চেম্বার অব কমার্স অ্যান্ড ইন্ডাস্ট্রির (সার্ক সিসিআই) সভাপতি সুরাজ বৈদ্য বলেন, দক্ষিণ এশিয়ার ৯৫ শতাংশ মানুষ আঞ্চলিক সহযোগিতা সংস্থা সার্কে বিশ্বাস করে। দক্ষিণ এশিয়ার দেশগুলোর ৯৯ দশমিক ৯৯ শতাংশ মানুষ ভালো। শূন্য দশমিক ১ শতাংশ সন্ত্রাসবাদী। এদের কারণে ভালো মানুষেরা ক্ষতিগ্রস্ত হচ্ছে।
সুরাজ বৈদ্য বলেন, সার্ক দেশগুলোর ভালো মানুষেরা এ অঞ্চলে অবাধে চলাচল করতে পারে না। এটা কি সার্কের আশাবাদের প্রতি ন্যায্য আচরণ? সন্ত্রাসীরা কিন্তু ঠিকই ঘুরে বেড়ায়। তাদের ভিসার প্রয়োজন হয় না।
সভায় আলোচনায় সার্কভুক্ত দেশগুলোর মধ্যে বাণিজ্যের ক্ষেত্রে বিভিন্ন সমস্যা নিয়ে আলোচনা হয়। বক্তারা বলেন, অন্য অঞ্চল যেখানে নিজেদের মধ্যে বড় অংশের বাণিজ্য করে, সেখানে সার্কের দেশগুলো মোট বাণিজ্যের মাত্র ৫ শতাংশ নিজেদের মধ্যে করে।
অনুষ্ঠানে এফবিসিসিআইয়ের সহসভাপতি মাহবুবুল আলম, সাবেক তত্ত¡াবধায়ক সরকারের উপদেষ্টা ম তামিম, পাকিস্থানের বাণিজ্য মন্ত্রণালয়ের যুগ্ম সচিব তৈমুর তাজমহল, ঢাকায় পাকিস্থান দূতাবাসের কমার্শিয়াল কাউন্সিলর সুলেমান খান, নেপালের গবেষক থ্রিশিজ দাহাল, শ্রীলঙ্কার গবেষক কিথমিনা হেওয়াজ বক্তব্য দেন।