Goyal calls for preliminary talks on patent waiver for Covid diagnostics
Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday called for early talks on granting patent exemption for Covid-19 diagnostics and therapies by December, in line with the decision taken during the of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in June.
In his opening statement at the G20 Trade, Investment and Industry Ministerial Meeting in Bali, Goyal also stressed the need for a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding (crucial for developing countries like India) and new discussions on ending harmful fisheries subsidies and moratorium on e-commerce.
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At the June WTO ministerial meeting, member countries agreed to later agree to India’s request for a permanent solution to the problem of public stockholding for food security and the peace clause. in force would continue to protect its current procurement programs. Members had reached an agreement to remove subsidies for illegal fishing and had also decided to extend the 24-year moratorium on the removal of customs duties on electronic transmission (e-commerce) until the next Ministerial Conference of the WTO, but no later than March 2024. While a patent waiver for the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines for five years has been agreed by members, discussions on including therapeutics and diagnostics in the framework of this waiver, as proposed by India and South Africa, were to start after six months.
On Thursday, reiterating India’s commitment to a rules-based multilateral trading system, Goyal called for a consensual outcome document for the current G20 ministerial meeting, particularly on the related agenda and priorities. to trade and investment.
The Minister also sought collective efforts to strengthen global supply chains amid geopolitical and pandemic-induced disruptions.