How Swiss Companies in Bangladesh Contribute to the COVID-19-Response
SWISS companies operating in Bangladesh are playing a key role in maintaining livelihoods, food security, health services and critical infrastructure and logistics during the ongoing crisis. Many also support or implement their own relief operations and pioneer safe working and commuting practices.
Switzerland is home to many globally leading pharmaceutical companies, two of which are particularly active in the country and its COVID response. Both Novartis and Roche have continued supporting patients and healthcare professionals with their wide range of testing solutions and medicines, often vital for diagnosis and treatment of critical diseases. Together with UNDP, Roche has reached out to over a million people with an online awareness campaign. Novartis has teamed up with the Swiss Red Cross and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to provide PPEs to healthcare professionals.
Various Swiss businesses are critical links in Bangladesh's food and beverage value chains, playing a key role in ensuring food security and safety, particularly during times of crisis. Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, has continued to safely supply farming products and services by distributing PPEs among its employees and business partners, and running a number of hygiene campaigns. Similar initiatives were taken by Bühler, a global food processing technology leader, who managed to continue servicing its equipment in mills and factories throughout the county, despite the pandemic. The food and beverage company Nestlé has continued its operations to ensure availability of essential food items in Bangladesh. The company also contributed to the Honourable Prime Minister's Fund and supported local NGOs and around 1'000 families living near its factory.
LafargeHolcim, a global leader in building materials with a strong presence in Bangladesh, provided local communities living in the vicinity of its operations with food support, protective equipment and hygiene solutions. The company also provided PPEs to health care professionals across the country. Meanwhile, Switzerland-based SGS, with its core competencies in testing, inspection and certification, plays a key role in setting up standards and guidelines for sourcing and manufacturing high-quality PPEs in Bangladesh. Finally, the IT powerhouse Secure Link Services (SELISE), which even expanded its local workforce during this crisis, has developed a digital platform to assess the likelihood of an individual contracting COVID-19, based on automated data collection and analysis.
As advocates of Swiss values such as quality, reliability, sustainability and solidarity, these companies, together with their local business partners, are making key contributions to help Bangladesh overcome and recover from the COVID-pandemic.