WTO TRIPS waiver agreement to help developing countries: Goyal

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NEW DELHI : The waiver of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) for five years agreed at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the WTO will help developing countries to manufacture patented vaccines against Covid-19 to face the pandemic, Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.

The covid-19 vaccine patent waiver agreement will allow India and other eligible developing countries to manufacture and export vaccines without seeking permission from the original manufacturer and also to export to other needy countries for five years.

However, at a press conference, Goyal told the reporter that India already has the technology to manufacture vaccines and the waiver can help other developing countries to manufacture vaccines.

“We have enough types of vaccines… So for the current strains of covid-19, we don’t need this TRIPS waiver. We have been supporting it more for other developing countries to make vaccines” , Goyal said.

It should be added that talks on the inclusion of therapeutics and diagnostics, proposed by India and South Africa, would begin after six months.

He added that no questions would be raised on India’s public stocks, purchases at the minimum support price and support given to farmers. Earlier, WTO members said several developing countries are trying to distort prices by providing excessive subsidies

Notably, India has agreed to remove export restrictions on UN World Food Program purchases on the condition that it has the ability to limit exports to meet domestic needs.

India’s other request to allow exports of its public stocks to countries in need on a government-to-government basis will be discussed along with other agricultural issues at the upcoming ministerial conference.

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