Pushing for technology transfer for Covid-19 vaccines globally, the Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has urged nations to share technology under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Asserting that there can be no vaccine nationalism, finance minister Sitharaman said, “Countries will have to be open about sharing vaccine-based technologies. The TRIPS agreement will have to be looked at in the context of the pandemic. There cannot be any more vaccine nationalism, countries will have to be flexible about it.”
Sitharaman was speaking during the annual meet of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday. The TRIPS agreement is a legal pact between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which establishes minimum standards for regulation by national governments of different forms of intellectual property as applied to nationals of other WTO member nations. The agreement has been in force since January 1995.
While participating in a virtual seminar, Sitharaman said there is a need to have a global multilateral approach to deal with the Covid pandemic. Post pandemic, she said, “the future as I said, will have to be based on principles of openness, transparency, fairness, sustainability and inclusiveness.”
As regards to global climate action, she said, India is committed to all the Paris agreement-based commitments and it is well on a course to fulfill all those commitments. About efforts of the government to keep the wheels of the economy running during the pandemic, Sitharaman said the government extended financial assistance to various sectors.
While observing that MSMEs are the backbone of the economy, Sitharaman said the government has extended financial assistance in terms of Rs 3 lakh crore loan guarantee to help them amid the pandemic.