PM calls for vax patent waiver, EU says ease curbs on imports, Health News, ET HealthWorld

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New Delhi: The first India-EU Leaders’ meeting on Saturday saw a major boost to trade ties with the two sides agreeing to resume negotiations, which had remained suspended since 2013, for a balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements while PM Narendra Modi sought support for a TRIPs waiver for vaccine production-related patents.

In a statement, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that while EU is ready to discuss “other proposals” for improving access to vaccines, it was important for countries to lift restrictions on vaccine import. EU leaders also urged the US to first remove its curbs on vaccine export before getting into any discussion on patent waiver that may augment production in future. India officials were hopeful of EU considering India’s proposal.

The Indian government said it was the first time the leaders met in a EU+27 format with PM Narendra Modi as special invitee at the EU Council. The summit saw Modi calling for EU’s support for India’s joint proposal with South Africa for a TRIPS waiver.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar said the two sides agreed to resume negotiations on Trade, Investment Protection and Geographical Indications, adding he was confident of a balanced and ambitious outcome.

European Council president Charles Michel was quoted as saying that the proposed patent waiver was not going to act as a magic solution.

While the US has supported the TRIPS waiver proposal, MEA secretary (West) Vikas Swarup said after the virtual being that EU’s support at WTO for the waiver will ensure that India can scale up vaccine production for equitable and global access and save lives.

Negotiations on trade and investment agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks. “This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues,” the statement said.



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