The US and Europe need to step up the supply chain for Covid-19 vaccines, Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar has stressed.
He made the observation while speaking to Bloomberg’s Jeanette Rodrigues at the Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg on Tuesday.
Jaishankar, who visited Washington recently to discuss the issue of vaccines and their raw materials, said that the US and Europe should step up the supply chain for vaccines so that India can ramp up vaccine production.
“The world doesn’t have enough vaccines. The discussion with the US on vaccine was how to keep the supply chain going up, so that we can actually ramp up production of vaccines at the kind of levels that the world needs. A lot of the supply chain originates in the US as well as in Europe. The US and Europe have to step forward if India has to ramp up its own production of vaccines,” he noted.
“Once we started the production of vaccines, we had obliged to supply the vaccines to our neighbours because we genuinely believe that none is safe till everyone is safe. Now, when enough raw materials are available and production picks up, we see ourselves playing a global role,” he added.
Meanwhile, he noted that honouring of the written commitment between India and China is the key to keeping the relationship normal between the countries.
“The India-China border issue is a challenge with two big issues. One is that the close up deployment still continues especially in Ladakh. The issue is whether China will live up to the written commitments it has made of both the countries not deploying large armed forces at the border,” Dr Jaishankar said.
“The larger issue is whether we can build this relationship based on mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interest,” he said.
India is a member of the Quad, an informal grouping that includes the US, Australia and Japan.
The minister said his country's collaboration with Quad and the border issue with China has no connection and should be viewed separately. “The Quad is a collaboration mainly focused on marine security, connectivity, education and even vaccine,” he said.
The Indian minister highlighted that his country is engaged in developmental projects in as many as 62 countries. “We actually have taken up about 630 projects. More than half of them — 340 — have been completed. We have a history of connectivity and infrastructure projects in various countries. What we discussed in the G-7 countries summit recently is, it is important that there should be broad principles that such projects should be viable, transparent and should not contribute to debt and they should be environment-friendly,” he added.