Bangladesh 2011 - Skills for Trade and Economic Diversification (STED)

Project document | 24 January 2012

STED is a strategic tool developed by the ILO that provides guidance for the integration of skills development in sectoral policies. It is designed to support growth and decent employment creation in sectors that have the potential to increase exports and to contribute to economic diversification.

STED was applied in Bangladesh in 2011 in cooperation with ILO projects on Technical and Vocational Education and Training Reform and Assessing and Addressing the Effects of Trade on Employment. Sectors covered were the Agro Food and Pharmaceutical Industries.

Stakeholder Workshops

Workshops with representatives from relevant government and education institutions as well as employers' and workers' representatives from the respective sectors were organized in Dhaka in September and December 2011 to discuss and validate initial findings and promote skills dialogue among stakeholders.

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Final Report

Skills for Trade and Economic Diversification in Bangladesh: The Case of Agro Food and Pharmaceuticals

Selected Findings

The pharmaceutical sector is currently producing mainly for the domestic market and low income export markets. Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) are imported and production is limited to generic drugs.

The sector has ambitious targets to increase exports to high-end markets, internalize API production, and invest in domestic research and development capacity. From 2016, the expiration of the Least Developed Country waiver under the TRIPS agreement will limit production of new generic drugs.

Pharmaceutical companies will require new capabilities mainly in the areas of Good Manufacturing Practice, regulatory affairs and compliance, API production, biologics production, export marketing, product management, channel management, and clinical trials.

As a result, training and education needs are likely to arise across all parts of the value chain, including training workers and managers on Good Manufacturing Practice and regulatory compliance. Demand is likely to increase among others for skills in marketing, process design, plant design and installation, and trial management.

A permanent industry skills council would provide a useful platform for an ongoing dialogue on skills among industry stakeholders in line with the recently adopted national skills policy.

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