Bangladesh, China and Incepta Pharmaceutical Ltd on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on co-production of Sinopharm vaccine in Bangladesh.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque and Abdul Muktadir, Chairman, Incepta Vaccine Limited signed the MoU from Dhaka while Li Can, President, China Sinopharm International Corporation and Zhu Jingjin, Vice President, China National Biotec Group Company Limited signed it from Beijing.
Incepta, a leading pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh , will bring in bulk and bottling, labeling and finishing of the vaccine will be done locally making the price relatively very cheap.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming witnessed the signing of the MoU among relevant parties.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Health Secretary Lokman Hossain Miah, among others, spoke.
Dr Momen said this is an example of great partnership. “An excellent partnership.”
He said the two countries have been very supportive to each other from the very beginning of Covid-19. “I’m thankful to the Chinese government.”
Dr Momen appreciated the Health Ministry’s efforts and said they are working as a team. “I think we did better than many other countries.”
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said this is a milestone and a dream has been materialized towards vaccine coproduction.
This will strengthen our relations and cooperation with China, he said.
The Health Minister hoped that one day vaccines will be exported from Bangladesh as the government plans to produce vaccines at the public sector level in the future.
“I would express my congratulations on the signing of the MoU on Cooperation for COVID-19 Vaccine in Bangladesh. Both sides have worked very hard towards the same goal, and both governments have given necessary support to this end,” said the Chinese Ambassador.
At the bilateral level, the Chinese envoy said, China is one of the most reliable partners of Bangladesh in terms of vaccine cooperation.
China has provided 2.1 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine as a gift to Bangladesh, 3.4 million doses under the COVAX facility, and 8 million doses as part of an arrangement of a large-scale commercial purchase.
While ramping up the total supply, vaccine-producing countries should also support developing countries, including Bangladesh, through joint production, and safeguard the global supply chain of raw materials, the Ambassador added.
He said China acted quickly to work with other developing countries on vaccine production.
The UAE, Egypt, Indonesia and Brazil, for example, he said, have become the first countries in their respective regions to have Covid vaccine production capacity in collaboration with China.
“And today, I’m proud to see that with the beginning of local production of the Sinopharm vaccine together with Incepta to be launched here soon, Bangladesh will be the next to have that capacity,” said the Ambassador.
After the successful signing ceremony, the vaccine cooperation between the two countries has become a ‘role model’ in this region, he said.
“From It, we can see that vaccine cooperation requires greater solidarity and sense of responsibility, and full mobilization of governments, businesses and international organizations, so as to form synergy,” said AmbassadorLi.
He also said, “Recently, you may have noticed, the “political virus” is posing an ever-increasing threat to global anti-pandemic cooperation, especially in the Covid-19 virus origin-tracing process.”