India has pitched for an early outcome of the TRIPS waiver proposal for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), an official release said on Saturday.
Addressing a meeting, which was attended by trade and economic ministers of BRICS countries on Friday, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal also stressed on finding a permanent, adequate and equitable solution to the public stock holding programmes for food security purposes.
He also asked for adoption of emerging new technologies in a swiftly changing world while finding solutions to the challenges of data protection and cyber security; and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
The minister “emphasized, amongst other things, on the need for a permanent, adequate and equitable solution to the Public Stock Holding programmes for food security purposes; early outcome of the TRIPS Waiver proposal for vaccines,” the release said.
In October 2020, India and South Africa had submitted the first proposal, suggesting a waiver for all WTO (World Trade Organisation) members on the implementation of certain provisions of the TRIPs Agreement in relation to the prevention, containment or treatment of COVID-19.
In May this year, a revised proposal was submitted by 62 co-sponsors, including India, South Africa, and Indonesia.
The agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPs came into effect in January 1995. It is a multilateral agreement on intellectual property (IP) rights such as copyright, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information or trade secrets.
Further the minister has said that the BRICS countries should work together for strengthening the multilateral system, stating that there is a need for a balanced and inclusive outcome in the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference.
The BRICS countries have endorsed the Framework for Cooperation in Trade in Professional Services with the objectives of enhancing domestic capacity and global competitiveness, promoting participation in intra-BRICS mobility of professionals and enhancing trade in professional services.
All BRICS members could for the first time reach a consensus for jointly working towards protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge, it added.
“In this era of exponential jump in the use of e-commerce and online electronic transactions, the convergence to draw a common Action plan amongst BRICS countries will help to promote exploring practical options for ensuring consumer protection,” it said.