India is working with partner countries to create secure, resilient and sustainable supply chains, FS Shringla said

The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that the rise of India as an Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) partner is good for the world, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday.

India has supplied more than 60 million doses of Made-in-India vaccines to over 75 countries, including through COVAX which is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaking at the Ananta Aspen Centre on the launch of the paper on ‘India: The World’s Pharmacy Expands Its Reach in Global Health', the Foreign Secretary also noted that India was working with some of its partner countries to create secure, resilient and sustainable supply chains for itself and the world at large.

Further, Shringla said that India took the lead in initiating and participating in regional and multilateral consultations to emphasize the need for countries to come together to collectively deal with the pandemic.

"India received the credit for ensuring supply of essential medicines during the critical phase of the pandemic. Delivery of these medicines cemented our reputation as the ''Pharmacy of the World'' and as a responsible stakeholder in global health supply chains," he said.

“In this environment, we expect to see more global players cooperating with their Indian counterparts in the pharma and healthcare sectors,” FS Shringla said.

“This is likely to go beyond shifting parts of supply chains to India. We expect to see collaborations, manufacturing and R&D tie-ups in this field. We are working with some of our partner countries to create secure, resilient and sustainable supply chains for ourselves and the world at large. India has the unique advantage of a robust IT and IT services sector to back up the delivery of health services, as seen in the CoWin portal for Covid vaccinations,” Shringla added.

In his address, the Foreign Secretary also referred to a proposal by the Quad member nations to use Indian manufacturing capacity, financed and supported by the other members of the grouping, to supply vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region.

"There is every expectation that the two current manufacturers will rapidly expand their manufacturing capacities to cater to the increasing domestic and external demand," he said.

"Some of the vaccine candidates may also conclude their trial process and become available," he added.

Shringla said supply of coronavirus vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region as proposed by the summit of the Quad leaders will involve the creation of new capacities and it will not impact on India's current vaccine production or roll-out.