Turkey and Bangladesh signed Monday a pact on exchanging pharmaceuticals and health services that would benefit people of both countries.
Visiting Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, Deputy Health Minister Emine Alp Mese represented Turkey in the signing ceremony at the Turkey-Bangladesh Health Business Forum.
"For the long-term benefit of the people of both countries, the health sector has a big role to play," Mese said after the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed.
Touting the high quality of Turkish pharmaceuticals, she said the vacuum in trade between the two countries will be solved by mutual sharing from now on. She also praised Bangladesh's rapid economic progress from a lower to a middle-income country.
A delegation of 10 representatives from the health ministry and 19 representatives from 13 Turkish firms and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Turkey (İEİS) are visiting Bangladesh.
Nazmul Hasan, head of the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries, said Bangladesh is the cheapest source of quality medicine. He also urged Turkey to help boost trade between the two countries, especially in the health care sector. Hasan added that the countries have long shared common cultural and religious values.
The trade could reach new heights starting with the pharmaceutical sector, the head of the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industry said.
The forum provided a platform for discussion on the expansion of the domestic industry for the pharmaceutical and medical devices, pharmaceutical biotechnology and biosimilar products in addition to the production of pharmaceutical raw materials and vaccine.
Turkey's Health Ministry aims to domestically produce all the vaccines within the next four years. In line with this goal, the delegation of the health ministry held meetings with Bangladeshi officials.
Deputy Minister Mese and Bangladesh's Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque discussed joint research and development (R&D) activities for vaccine and insulin production.
Yesterday, Turkey Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TITCK) and Bangladesh Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) signed an MoU for the cooperation in drugs and medical devices.
According to a statement released by the Bangladeshi authorities, the domestic production rate of pharmaceutical products in the country was only 25 percent in 1981 but has reached 97 percent today. Bangladeshi pharmaceutical market has an economic size of $2.5 billion and the country exports drugs and vaccines to 151 countries.
According to the İEİS, the Turkish pharmaceutical industry reached TL 30.9 billion in 2018 and Turkey exported pharmaceutical products to more than 100 countries, generating over $1 billion in revenues, a 25 percent rise compared to the previous year.