July 17, 2024, 3:59 pm


2018-03-01 22:13:57 BdST

Govt encourages private sector investment in blue biotech


Prialt, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, is used to treat severe chronic pain in adults. Yondelis, developed by a Spanish company, is used in soft tissue treatment. Many other countries produce anti-ageing cream.

Despite their different applications, thousands of such medicines have one thing in common – they are made from sea resources and are multi-million dollar businesses.

Prialt, for example, is made from sea snail. Yondelis, on the other hand, is made using the extract of a sea plant. Sea creatures are used for making anti-ageing creams.

Bangladesh is rich with sea resources which can help the country earn billions of dollars.

Foreign Ministry’s Maritime Affairs Unit Secretary Mohammad Khurshed Alam said Belgium’s coastal area stretched only 70 kilometres while Bangladesh’s was 10 times bigger.

“The amount Belgium earns by processing sea resources in that small area is quite unbelievable,” he said.

Alam said Bangladesh now had sovereignty over a huge sea area after its disputes with Myanmar and India were resolved. Most of the sea resources remained untapped as only a small number of fishes are caught around the year from this area.

“Blue biotech is very profitable new sector,” he said. “If this sector expands in our country, it will yield big profits just like from the readymade garment sector.”

It is high-tech field. Secretary Alam said the technology was available for sale, adding: “Matis, an Iceland company, sold skin care product technology to an Irish company. They get royalty from there.”

He said he believed that Bangladesh would be able to do it too. “We are encouraging investment in the blue biotech during our meetings with various chambers and business associations,” he said.

“The government will not do any business in this sector but rather is encouraging the private sector to invest in it,” the secretary added.

It is being hoped that blue economy will also turn into a big source of income for Bangladesh apart from the readymade garments if there are sufficient investment in the sector.

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