New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) India has called for working towards creating a global framework for further enhancing affordable access to medicines for fighting pandemics and facilitating easier movement of health professionals across national borders.
Accordingly, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal in his interventions at the recently held meeting of the Trade and Investment Ministers of the G20 countries stressed on the need to uphold multilateral commitments and improve upon its effectiveness to meet current challenges.
The minister said that despite many challenges, India has been a dependable and affordable source of efficacious and high quality medical and pharma products to nearly 190 countries around the world.
“We are confident that with improved regulatory and R&D cooperation, India can further enhance its capabilities to serve the world in crisis like this. We must ensure that suitable instruments stay in place to address these inabilities and preserve the life, livelihood, food and nutritional sec urity of the poorest,” he was quoted as saying in a ministry statement.
Besides, the minister said that such unprecedented challenges necessitate innovative, collaborative and proactive response from the world.
“Our collective act must reflect and uphold the centrality of the rules based multilateral system with development at the centre of any action in trade as well as other areas. We must ensure that the supply of goods, and services most importantly that of vital medicines and food products are not disrupted consistent with national needs,” minister said.
“Trade Facilitative responses need to be in place, and wherever required by doing away temporarily, the requirement by authorities like Customs, Banks of producing original documents by importers for various clearances. Additionally, we need to think of a suitable framework under which critical pharma products, medical devices, diagnostic equipment and kits and healthcare professionals can be deployed at short notice across territories under a pre-agreed protocol.”
The Trade and Investment Ministers of the G20 and guest countries have decided to keep their markets open, and ensure smooth and continued operation of t he logistics networks.
The meeting was held through video-conferencing. It described COVID-19 pandemic as a global challenge, requiring a coordinated global response.
The statement issued at the end of the meeting, called upon the international community to step up cooperation and coordination to protect human life and lay the foundations for a strong economic recovery and a sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth after this crisis.