Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen emphasized the high-quality production of medicines by Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical industry, stating that they are exported at competitive prices to various countries worldwide.
He urged the United States to increase its import of medicines from Bangladesh, highlighting the significant amount of medical equipment the US obtained from Bangladesh during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mark Emalfarb, President and CEO of Dyadic International Inc., an American biotechnology company, met with the foreign minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss mutual interests.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding vaccine production will be signed between Bangladesh’s Essential Drugs Company Limited and Dyadic International Inc. at the Ministry of Health in Dhaka on Wednesday. Emalfarb informed the minister about Dyadic’s efforts to enhance Bangladesh’s vaccine production capacity through the memorandum of understanding with the state-owned Essential Drugs Company Limited. Dr. Momen acknowledged that the cost and price of medicines are often high in many countries, including the United States.
Therefore, he suggested that major companies from such countries can leverage investment and technology transfer in Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical industry to gain a comparative advantage. Dr. Momen expressed gratitude to Mark Emalfarb for the collaboration initiative between Dyadic, a renowned biotechnology company, and the state-owned Essential Drugs Company Limited, which aims to boost Bangladesh’s vaccine production capacity.
Bangladesh’s Commitment to SDGs Unshaken Despite Global Challenges, Says PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reaffirmed her government’s unwavering commitment to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), even in the face of challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war, and the climate crisis. She made this declaration during a meeting with Helen Clark, Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), at the United Nations Headquarters.
As part of her commitment to healthcare services accessibility for all citizens, PM Sheikh Hasina mentioned the implementation of the National Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011-2030) and a 27% increase in healthcare sector allocations for the current fiscal year 2023-24.
Helen Clark commended Bangladesh’s exceptional progress in healthcare under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership, citing the nation’s remarkable achievements in reducing maternal and child mortality rates and ensuring universal healthcare services.
Bangladesh’s GDP Growth to Reach 6.5% in FY24: ADB
Bangladesh’s economy is anticipated to expand by 6.5% in fiscal year 2024, reflecting an improvement in domestic demand and enhanced export growth, as per the recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) report titled “Asian Development Outlook (ADO) September 2023.” This growth projection is slightly higher than the 6.0% recorded in the previous fiscal year, driven by a recovering euro area.
Inflation is predicted to decrease to 6.6% in the current fiscal year, down from 9.0% in FY2023. Additionally, the current account deficit is expected to narrow marginally, from 0.7% of GDP in the previous fiscal year to 0.5% in FY2024, thanks to improved remittance growth.
The report identifies the main risk to this growth projection as a potential deterioration in export growth if global demand remains weaker than anticipated.
ADB Country Director Edimon Ginting commented on the government’s effective management of external economic uncertainties, highlighting ongoing infrastructure development and crucial reforms aimed at enhancing the investment climate. These structural reforms encompass bolstering public financial management, mobilizing domestic resources, optimizing logistics, and deepening the financial sector to foster private sector growth, diversify exports, and create productive employment opportunities in the medium term.
The report also underscores the importance of addressing climate change by expanding domestic renewable energy supply in the context of elevated oil prices.
The revival of private consumption, driven by moderate inflation and increased remittances, coupled with the completion of significant government infrastructure projects boosting investment, is expected to stimulate economic growth. However, the initial uptick in interest rates following adjustments to the country’s monetary policy framework may temper private investment.
Inflation is projected to ease due to lower global non-fuel commodity prices, increased agricultural production, and the initial tightening of monetary policy under the new framework.
FBCCI, BMCCI Collaborate to Boost Trade & Investment Between Bangladesh & Malaysia
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the country’s foremost trade organization, has joined hands with the Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) to bolster business and investment opportunities and narrow the trade deficit between Bangladesh and Malaysia. Both organizations aim to facilitate the export of skilled labor from Bangladesh to Malaysia, a crucial labor market for the nation.
During a courtesy meeting at the FBCCI Icon in Dhaka on September 19, 2023, FBCCI President Mr. Mahbubul Alam expressed these intentions while meeting with a BMCCI delegation, led by its President, Syed Almas Kabir. The collaboration between FBCCI and BMCCI seeks to address Bangladesh’s substantial trade deficit through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs), and other trade mechanisms. Both organizations are committed to working together to tackle this issue.
The meeting was attended by FBCCI Director Hafez Hazi Harun-Or-Rashid (CIP), Mohammad Nizam Uddin, BMCCI Senior Vice President Mr. Sabbir Ahmed Khan, Vice President Mr. Jamilur Rahman, BMCCI Secretary General Mr. Md. Motaher Hoshan Khan, Director Mr. Mamunur Rahman, and other dignitaries.
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