Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday urged the G20 countries for starting timely discussions in the WTO on extending patent waiver for the production and supply of COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics.
In June, members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreed to grant a temporary patent waiver for manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines only for five years.
However, talks on including therapeutics and diagnostics, as proposed by India and South Africa, under the purview of this waiver were to start after six months.
Goyal raised the issue while delivering his opening statement at the G20 Trade, Investment and Industry Ministerial Meeting that is underway in Bali, Indonesia.
“He urged the G20 to commit itself to positive and timely discussions on important areas mandated by the MC12 (12th ministerial conference) including WTO reforms and extension of TRIPS (Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waver to cover the production and supply of COVID 19 diagnostics and therapeutics within the agreed timeframe of 6 months,” an official statement said.
Goyal also asked members to be conscious that our fisheries negotiations and a permanent solution to public stockholding, a permanent solution to e-commerce moratorium, among other agendas, required their urgent attention and decisions.
Further, he called for intensive efforts to save and promote multilateralism.
If multilateralism was imperilled, the world would not be left with many forums to promote dialogue and diplomacy and thus free trade would suffer, he said.
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