Goyal seeks early talks on patent waiver for Covid diagnostics | The Financial Express

Goyal seeks early talks on patent waiver for Covid diagnostics

In his opening statement at the G20 ministerial meeting on trade, investment and industry in Bali, Goyal also stressed the need for a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding (crucial for developing countries like India) and further talks on ending harmful fishery subsidies and on e-commerce moratorium.

Goyal seeks early talks on patent waiver for Covid diagnostics
On Thursday, reiterating India's commitment to rules-based multilateral trading system, Goyal called for a consensus-based outcome document for the current G20 ministerial, particularly on agenda and priorities related to trade and investment.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday called for early talks on granting patent waiver for Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics by December, in sync with the decision made at the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in June.

In his opening statement at the G20 ministerial meeting on trade, investment and industry in Bali, Goyal also stressed the need for a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding (crucial for developing countries like India) and further talks on ending harmful fishery subsidies and on e-commerce moratorium.

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At the June ministerial of the WTO, member-countries had decided to take up India’s demand for a permanent solution to the issue of public stock holding for food security later and the extant peace clause would continue to protect its current procurement programmes. The members had hammered out a deal to scrap subsidies for illegal fishing and also decided to continue the 24-year-old moratorium on slapping customs duties on electronic transmission (e-commerce trade) until the next ministerial conference of the WTO but not later than March 2024. While a patent waiver for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines for five years was agreed on by the members, talks on including therapeutics and diagnostics under the purview of this waiver, as proposed by India and South Africa, were to start after six months.

On Thursday, reiterating India’s commitment to rules-based multilateral trading system, Goyal called for a consensus-based outcome document for the current G20 ministerial, particularly on agenda and priorities related to trade and investment.

The minister also sought collective efforts to bolster global supply chains amid geopolitical and pandemic-driven disruptions.

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