Minister of state for commerce and industry Anupriya Patel. (File photo)
NEW DELHI: India is willing to collaborate with East Asian nations in the production of generic drugs and medical technologies used for the treatment of Covid-19 as well as in the field of vaccines, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel said on Wednesday.
She was addressing the ninth EAS-EMM (East Asia Summit-Economic Ministers' Meeting) via video-conferencing.
The minister also said in an interconnected and globalised world, no one is safe until everyone is safe, and India is looking forward to an early outcome on the TRIPS waiver proposal for vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
India recognises that the international community has a collective responsibility to work together against the Covid-19 pandemic in the true spirit of partnership within existing international frameworks, she said.
"India is willing to collaborate with East Asian partners in the production of generic drugs and medical technologies used for treatment of Covid-19 patients, as also in the area of vaccine production. 70 per cent of the global vaccines are produced in India and our capacity to produce quality medicines and vaccines at affordable prices are globally recognised," Patel said.
She added that in spite of availability of scientific evidence and literature confirming that the Covid-19 virus cannot survive on surfaces and food packages, the exports, especially the agri exports, of many countries including India faced restrictive measures.
At a difficult time when the world is already reeling under lockdowns and supply chain disruptions, such restrictive barriers created by certain countries added to the existing vulnerabilities, which was not in the interest of regional trade, she noted.
"Facilitating exports of essential goods and food products are important for food security and wellbeing of people. India reiterates the need for fair, transparent, reciprocal and inclusive trade which promotes the interest of all," the minister said.
Patel also said there is a need to acknowledge the challenges of data protection and cyber security arising from the unprecedented growth of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.