Updated: November 17, 2020 10:38:11 pm
Addressing the 12th BRICS summit hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday exuded confidence in India’s vaccine production and delivery capabilities in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have started a comprehensive reform process under the ‘Self-reliant India’ campaign. The campaign is based on the belief that a self-reliant and resilient India post-Covid can be a force multiplier for the global economy and make a strong contribution to the global value chains,” PM Modi said while addressing the summit of the five-nation grouping via videoconferencing.
Emphasising his point, PM Modi said, “We also saw an example during Covid, when we were able to send essential medicines to more than 150 countries due to the capability of the Indian pharma industry. Our vaccine production and delivery capacity will also work in the interest of humanity like this.”
He also underlined that BRICS economies will play a crucial role in the global recovery after the pandemic. “We have more than 42 per cent of the world’s population, and our countries are among the main engines of the global economy. There is a lot of scope for increasing mutual trade between BRICS countries. Our mutual institutions and systems—such as BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism, New Development Bank, Contingent Reserve Arrangement and Customs Cooperation—can also make our contribution effective in the global recovery,” he said.
The Prime Minister also identified terrorism as the “biggest problem” facing the world and asserted that there was a need to tackle the menace in an organised manner. “Terrorism is the biggest problem the world is facing. We have to ensure that the countries that support and assist the terrorists are also held guilty,” PM Modi said. Although Modi did not name any country, his reference is seen as directed at Pakistan.
The 12th BRICS summit was also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Notably, this is the second time that PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping shared the virtual platform this month. Earlier, both leaders had shared the platform on November 10 at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, where Modi had said that all member nations of the SCO should respect each others’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. Indian and Chinese soldiers are locked in a border standoff in eastern Ladakh for the last six months.
In his address, PM Modi also underlined the need for reform of the United Nations Security Council as well as multilateral bodies like the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund.
The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) is known as an influential bloc that represents over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world’s population.
Ready to cooperate with India, BRICS countries to develop COVID-19 vaccine: Xi
Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered to cooperate with India and other BRICS nations in the development of vaccines against the coronavirus. “As we speak the Chinese companies are working with their Russian and Brazilian partners on phase three clinical trials for vaccines. We are prepared to have cooperation with South Africa and India as well,” Xi said while addressing the 12th BRICS summit.
“To support the development of BRICS Vaccine R&D centre, China has designated its own national centre. I propose we convene a BRICS symposium on traditional medicine to explore its role in coronavirus prevention and treatment,” Xi said. He also said that China will open the BRICS partnership on a new industrial revolution innovation centre in the Chinese city of Xiamen. “We welcome the active participation of fellow BRICS countries,” he added.
Putin says Sputnik V vaccine could be produced in India and China
Echoing Xi, President Vladimir Putin also called for a joint effort by the BRICS countries on the development of the coronavirus vaccines as he suggested that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 could be produced in China and India. “We believe it is important to speed up the establishment of the centre for development and research of BRICS vaccines, which we agreed to do two years ago, upon the initiative of our South African friends,” Putin said while addressing the 12th BRICS summit.
“The Russian Direct Investment Fund has reached agreements with its Brazilian and Indian partners on conducting clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine, it has also reached an agreement with pharmaceutical companies in China and India to launch production of the vaccine in these countries not just to cover their needs, but for third countries as well,” Putin said.
“We believe it is important to speed up the establishment of the centre for development and research of BRICS vaccines, which we agreed to do two years ago, upon the initiative of our South African friends,” he added.
With PTI inputs
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