08May2019

A peek into Bangladesh’s trade giants


 

 

A peek into Bangladesh’s trade giants

 

Bangladesh can surprise you, that much I will say. I jumped into an invitation to visit the country for the first time without knowing much about the place except its summer climate, population, its citizens’ physical features (all of which I have to see for myself), and the countless brands that carry “Made in Bangladesh” printed on its labels (I’m excited to see the source). Three proved true on Day 1.

But there is more to the South Asian country than you and I may know. Thanks to the Visit Bangladesh, an annual program which started in 2011, media from 45 nations gets first-hand update on Bangladesh today.

Bangladesh is one of the most populous and most-densely populated country in the globe yet is one of the fastest-growing economies—the Oriental Tiger in South Asia, one of the world’s largest economy today.

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Daily fare. Rickshaw is one of the public transportations in Bangladesh

 

According to the Ministry of Information, the economic boom can be credited the nation’s major industries—the textile and garments (they’re the 2ndlargest garments manufacturer and, yes, you have several in your closet); pharmaceuticals; agriculture-based industries (they’re self-sustaining and exporting); leather and jute; ceramic, chemicals and even ship building.

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Inside the the News24 studio of East West Media Group, a media conglomerate in Bangladesh

 

We got to visit the facilities of two of the nation’s major industrial players – Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Shinepukur Ceramics Ltd.

Founded in 1958 by Samson Chowdhury and three friends, Square Pharmaceuticals is the largest pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh. It pioneered exportation of medicines in 1987. Today, it services 42 countries across the globe including the Philippines.

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Green project. Square Pharmaceuticals Dhaka Unit has a good number of acreage dedicated for green space (photo by Kim Sanggoo)

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Philippines! The flags represent the pharmaceutical company do business with

 

The products are manufactured in 15 manufacturing units in two different sites, in Pabna and Dhaka.

The Pabna site, which started operation in 1958, produces hormonal and steroidal products, and penicillin, while the 2002-operational Dhaka Unit manufactures the tablets, capsules, insulin and ophthalmic products.

Both plants are equipped with modern machineries that allow high yield production to serve the demands of their clientele.

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Square Pharmaceuticals Solid Dosage production building at Dhaka Unit

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
State-of-the-art equipments at Square Pharmaceuticals (corporate photo)

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Raw material warehouse of the Solid Dosage plant

 

But Square is more than just a pharmaceutical firm. Under the mother company are its sister firms that deal with healthcare, IT, media, textile and garment manufacturing, among others. The Square Group’s turnover is over US$1.3 billion.

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
This lake is natural and well taken cared for. Across is the home of the founder’s daughter

 

The BEXIMCO group claims to be the largest private sector business conglomerate in the country. Under the umbrella company is a diverse line of industries that includes textile and garment manufacturing, information and communication technologies, construction and real estate, among others. It yields an annual income of $1 billion, 75% of which is from export.

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Shinepukur creations. Can I take all these home?

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Quality control at the bone china plant of Shinepukur Ceramics

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Bone china set. One of the many exciting designs of Shinepukur for export

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Spot the difference. Bone china vs. ceramic

 

Shinepukur Ceramics is one of BEXIMCO’s companies. It prides itself as the biggest bone china and porcelain tableware manufacturer and exporter in Bangladesh. Using top of the line raw materials sourced out from Europe, state-of-the-art technology from Germany and Japan and highly skilled artisans, the factories churn out more than twenty million pieces of bone china and porcelain products annually.

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Bone China Plant, one of the many buildings in the compound

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Production line at Shinepukurs ceramic plant

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Blue and white is opular with collectors

 

A peek into Bangladesh trade giants
Nativity scene candle holders in bone China

 

The two giant organizations are proud to claim that they pay their staff well, don’t engage in child labor and adhere to the health and environmental codes.

 

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