Quad Summit: India to expand COVID-19 vaccine production with support from Japan, US, Australia for Indo-Pacific region© Somya Lohia Quad Summit: India to expand COVID-19 vaccine production with support from Japan, US, Australia for Indo-Pacific region
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga came together in a first-ever summit of the four-nation Quad on March 12.
In the virtual meeting, the leaders finalised a landmark initiative under which huge investments will be made in India to create additional production capacities to roll out a billion coronavirus vaccine doses by 2022 for exports to the Indo-Pacific region. The move is being seen as a significant step to counter China’s expanding vaccine diplomacy.
Also, the leaders of the four-nation Quad vowed to strive for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion, sending an apparent message to China.
In the meeting, the Quad leaders also decided to create three working groups in areas of vaccine, climate crisis and critical and emerging technology.
In his opening remarks at the virtual summit, PM Modi said the four-nation Quad has come of age and its agenda covering areas like vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies makes it a force for global good.
The prime minister further said that India’s formidable vaccine production capacity will be expanded with support from Japan, US and Australia to assist countries in the Indo-Pacific region and that Quad would now remain an important pillar of stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We are united by our democratic values, and our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Our agenda today – covering areas like vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies – makes the Quad a force for global good,” he said.
In his comments, Biden said the Quad is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. “A free and open Indo Pacific is essential to each of our futures, Biden told the meeting from the White House.”
It was first time Modi and Biden came face-to-face after the American leader took charge in Washington in January. It’s great to see you, this is how Biden greeted PM Modi at the summit.
After the summit concluded, PM Modi tweeted, “Our discussions today on vaccines, climate change, and emerging technologies make the Quad a positive force for global good and for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.”
United in the fight against COVID-19, the four nations launched a landmark Quad partnership to ensure accessibility of safe COVID-19 vaccines, said PM Modi in a series of tweets.
He further said, “India’s formidable vaccine production capacity will be expanded with support from Japan, US and Australia to assist countries in the Indo-Pacific region”.
Had fruitful discussions with @POTUS @JoeBiden, PM @ScottMorrisonMP and PM @sugawitter at the 1st Quad Summit.
Reiterated India’s commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific in line with our vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 12, 2021
In a media brieifing after the summit, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, referring to the vaccine initiative, said the aim is to produce a billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2022. He said the financing for creation of additional production capacities in India will come from the US and Japan while Australia will contribute to the last mile logistics and delivery issues.
(With inputs from PTI)
Quad Summit: India to expand COVID-19 vaccine production with support from Japan, US, Australia for Indo-Pacific region
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