After 60 years in the nation, Sanofi, the French pharmaceutical giant, is planning to leave Bangladesh by unloading stakes, in a huge blow to the state at a moment when it is serious about attracting foreign direct investment.
Recently, in a letter to the Sanofi board, Sanofi Bangladesh Managing Director Muin Uddin Mazumder and Sanofi India and South Asia Chief Financial Officer Charles Billard notified their intention for strategic reasons to sell their stakes in Bangladesh.
Billard was asked if their choice could be changed, but he replied in the negative.
Mazumder told The Daily Star by phone If there is any growth in this respect, we will come up with the issue formally shortly
Sanofi Bangladesh, a corporation under the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), will be reviewed in a conference shortly, Md Abdul Halim, Secretary of the Ministry of Industries, said.
An executive of a pharmaceutical manufacturing business familiar with the problem said Sanofi has failed to compete with national businesses as it has not extended its manufacturing ability for many years.
Moreover, no generic drug is produced by Sanofi.
The top 10 pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh each have a 2 percent market share, while Sanofi, despite being a global player, does not even have less than 2 percent share, the CEO said.
Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute said that they want as many foreign firms as they can. We don’t want any business to leave Bangladesh.
Sanofi products are manufactured in its world-class plant in Tongi, keeping normal good manufacturing practice and storage procedures.
Sensitive and high-tech products such as vaccines, insulin, and chemotherapy are imported straight from France, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Sanofi Bangladesh is a public limited company with a 45.36 percent share owned by the Bangladesh government. Sanofi sold worldwide brands such as Lantus, Apidra, Taxotere, Eloxatin, Clexane, Amaryl, Insuman.