Oryx Bangladesh will invest around $300 million to set up the country's first biotech industry in Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City at Kaliakoir, Gazipur, to produce biotech products from human plasma.
The plant will have the capacity to process 1,200 tonnes of plasma, annually, and it will set up 20 plasma collection centres all over the country.
In this regard, Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority, Oryx Bio-Tech Limited and Summit Technopolis Ltd signed a tripartite agreement on Tuesday at the BCC Auditorium in the capital.
Summit Technopolis Ltd, a subsidiary of Summit Group, is providing 20 acres of land and building the industry for Oryx.
The industry will produce biotech products primarily used for: immunodeficiency, autoimmune, infectious and idiopathic diseases; the treatment of epidemic diseases–Covid-19, influenza, foot and mouth–neutralising bacteria and viruses; treating HIV and cancer patients; reducing the risk of infection, and more.
Presided over by Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for information and communication technology, Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, attended the programme as its chief guest.
Nasrul expressed his commitment to ensuring an uninterrupted and quality supply of electricity to the high-tech park industry.
"The ICT Division has done a wonderful job that will really benefit the people of Bangladesh, along with the business community of this sector," he added.
In his speech, Zunaid Ahmed Palak said that this investment will play a vital role in inspiring other foreign companies to invest in Bangladesh.
He said that five out of 28 high-tech parks are now in operation. In the last four years, the country earned around Tk50 crore from these parks, and created 13,000 jobs.
"A total of 50,000 new jobs will be created by 2030," Palak added.
Muhammed Aziz Khan, chairman of Summit Group, and NM Zeaul Alam, senior secretary to the ICT Division, spoke as special guests.
Mentioning the project as a great step for Bangladesh, Aziz Khan said that the country and the whole world are entering a new frontier with artificial intelligence and the internet of things "that have moved us forward to biotechnology."
"We believe that this is a foundation stone for an extension of the extraordinary adventure of nature which will find Bangladesh on the forefront of technological advancement in technology industries by employing thousands of people at a much higher value addition to the country and the world," he added.
He thanked Oryx for choosing Bangladesh for this investment.
Kazi Shakil, chairman of Oryx Bio-tech; Hosne Ara Begum, managing director of the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority; and David Bo, managing director of Oryx, also spoke on the occasion.
Speakers said that China Biologic Products Holdings, the largest non-state-owned plasma-based biopharmaceutical company in China, will be providing technological support to the plant.
The industry will create 2,000 high-paying jobs and train domestic talent at international standards.
Plasma-driven medical products, made from human plasma, are commonly used in the US, Europe, China, and increasingly more in developing countries.