On 27th October 2020 Shri Piyush Goyal (Union Commerce and Industry Minister) called upon the global community to ensure availability of vaccines for covid-19 in affordable cost and enough quantities and also, In his intervention at the virtual informal meeting of WTO Ministers held today, he said that India and South Africa have proposed TRIPS waiver to address the challenges that countries with limited manufacturing capacity will face, in accessing these medical supplies. He called upon all Members to support the proposal, in order to have a decision on it by MC12, if not earlier.
Shri Goyal said that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the inherent weaknesses and inequalities in the global economic & trading system. The need of the hour is to take effective measures to address the immediate challenges, and also prepare a long-term roadmap on how to reform an ailing and imbalanced global trading system. Shri Goyal said that India believes that every crisis presents big opportunities for new and innovative pathways to progress.
He said that meaningful and equitable reform requires us to re-imagine the multilateral trading system and fix what has not worked in the last 25 years. “We are always ready to engage constructively with other WTO Members to protect human life and work towards restoring inclusive and sustainable global economic growth.”, Shri Goyal mentioned.
On the heightened challenges of food and livelihood security due to pandemic, the Minister suggested that an immediate response to the food security challenge would be to deliver an effective outcome on the mandated issue of a permanent solution for Public Stockholding for food security purposes (PSH) at MC12.
Shri Goyal said that the pandemic has also highlighted the need for easier cross-border movement of health care professionals. A multilateral initiative that provides for easier access to medical services under mode-4 needs to be launched immediately and we should aim to deliver this outcome by MC12.