Policy

India ready to tie-up with ASEAN in generics, medical tech for fighting Covid-19

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 29, 2020

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal   -  PTI

Economic Ministers at the East Asia Summit express commitment for promoting trade, minimising disruptions

India is willing to collaborate with the ten-member ASEAN in the production of generic drugs and medical technologies used for treatment of Covid-19 patients, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said.

"India welcomes the initiatives of ASEAN to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and the establishment of the ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund," Goyal said at the 8th East Asia Summit - Economic Ministers' Meeting) held virtually on Friday, adding that the two sides could work together in fighting Covid-19 by jointly producing generics and technology.

Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States, who participated in the East India Summit, also highlighted their commitment to promote trade and investment, minimise disruptions to trade and global supply chains.

In their joint press statement, the Ministers also agreed to facilitate supply chain connectivity, including for essential goods such as medical supplies, medicines, including vaccines, food, commodities and other essential supplies and services in the region.

Regional initiatives to mitigate the impact of the pandemic including the establishment of the ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund, were also supported by the Ministers. They also recognised the importance of the work towards the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies and the Standard Operating Procedures for Public Health Emergencies Response.

Highlighting India’s role in helping the world meet the Covid-19 challenge, Goyal said that even when the country was unable to get its medical supplies from the rest of the world, it provided medical assistance, in the form of essential drugs, test kits and protection gear to over 150 countries and as grants-in-aid to over 80 countries.

"India was privileged to be able to serve the world by producing 70% of the global vaccines and being trusted as the pharmacy of the world,” Goyal said.

The participating Ministers also agreed that any trade restrictive emergency measures put in place to address the impact of Covid-19 must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary, consistent with WTO rules and do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption of global and regional supply chains.

Published on August 29, 2020

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