Chittagong, Bangladesh in the rain

GSK announces closure of Bangladesh facilities

pharmafile | July 30, 2018 | News story | Manufacturing and Production Bangladesh, Chittagong, GSK, closure, manufacturing 

The British multinational GlaxoSmithKline has announced the closure of its facilities in Bangladesh after more than six decades of operation in the densely populated South Asian country.

While GSK first set up manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh in 1963, the head of GSK’s regional supply chain, Raju Krishnaswami, announced the permanent closure of pharmaceutical production, distribution and marketing in the country. The company has been listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange since 1976. However the company’s earnings within Bangladesh have seen a steady decline in recent years.

The London-listed company announced their decision to close their facility in the coastal city of Chittagong in south-eastern Bangladesh yesterday. The closure is likely to affect 1,000 people who will face redundancy when manufacturing processes come to an end, later this year. The company employs around 500 permanent employees and 500 temporary workers in the Chittagong factory that is to be closed down by the end of 2018.

The announcement has come as employees marching under the banner of GlaxoSmithKline Employees Union, urged the government to intervene, as they forewarned of potential closure just last week. A further 500 employees demonstrated in front of the Chittagong facility yesterday in protest to the closure and loss of jobs.

A GSK director told the Bangladesh-based, English language newspaper the Daily Star that the facility is: “a very old plant and has been incurring losses for years. Also, GSK was struggling to maintain its global standard at the factory,” he added that “There is no way that GSK Pharmaceuticals can survive in Bangladesh.”

The announcement has come as the pharmaceutical giant cut staff in sub-Saharan Africa earlier this year. In a drive spearheaded by CEO Emma Walmsley, GSK pulled out of 29 sub-Saharan African countries while also replacing 50 of 125 managers as she led a major overhaul of the multi-billion pound drug maker.  

Louis Goss

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