NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed confidence that India will have an important role in developing and scaling up production of a Covid-19 vaccine once it is discovered and asserted that the country will play a leading role in global revival.
“Today also, our companies are active in the international efforts for development and production of Covid-19 vaccine,” Modi said in his inaugural address at the India Global Week 2020 summit while highlighting the efforts being made by firms to develop a vaccine and the critical contribution of the country’s pharmaceutical sector.
The PM’s comments come against the backdrop of the global race to develop a vaccine for the deadly virus. Companies in India, like those elsewhere, are racing against time to develop one and clinical trials have begun for a vaccine candidate. Modi said the pandemic had shown that the country’s pharma industry is an asset not just for India but for the entire world. He said the sector has played a leading role in reducing the cost of medicines, especially for developing countries.
Vaccines made in India are responsible for two-thirds of the vaccination needs of the world’s children, the PM said. Stating that while India is fighting a strong battle against the global pandemic, the government is equally focused on improving the health of the economy and asserted that green shoots are already visible.
“When India talks of revival it is revival with care, revival with compassion, revival which is sustainable — both for the environment and the economy,” said Modi. Stating that Indians have the spirit to achieve what is believed to be impossible, the PM said the government has provided relief to citizens and undertaken deep structural reforms.
“We are making the economy more productive, investment friendly and competitive,” he said while detailing the reforms undertaken in the last six years.
Modi said India remains one of the most open economies in the world and urged investors to set up their units in the country while highlighting reforms in the farm sector.
The PM also explained the significance of the call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ to the global audience and vowed to pursue policies that promote efficiency, equity and resilience.