Jokowi hopes health will be focus of ASEAN-India cooperation

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(This is aimed) not only to address the COVID-19 pandemic but also to prepare ourselves for pandemics in the future

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has stressed the significance of maintaining cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India in the health sector, particularly to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“(This is aimed) not only to address the COVID-19 pandemic but also to prepare ourselves for pandemics in the future,” he said while addressing the 18th ASEAN-India Summit, which he joined virtually from the Bogor Presidential Palace on Thursday.

According to him, India has a large capacity in the health sector, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.

India is also the largest vaccine producer in the world and the third-largest pharmaceutical producer in the world, he noted. This offers large capital to strengthen cooperation between ASEAN and India in the pharmaceutical industry, he said.

Among the areas of cooperation that both sides can develop are increasing medicine and vaccine production, conducting joint research for the development of vaccines with up-to-date technology, developing networks, and being a part of the regional distribution center for the pharmaceutical industry, he said.

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“At a global level, the support of TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Waiver at WTO must be done. This is important to facilitate access to up-to-date technology in the production of medicines and vaccines,” he added.

Jokowi further underscored the importance of cooperation in human resources development in the health sector the more so because India has institutes of higher learning with a large number of medical schools.

“With experienced and excellent human resources, India can support ASEAN member countries’ effort to improve their human resources’ capacity,” he said.

Related news: Indonesia, India, S Korea in COVID vaccine hub race: official

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