‘Pharmacy of the world’: Marcos urges Asean to bolster ties with India for affordable meds, jabs
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Saturday urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to bolster its cooperation with India to ensure better access to medicines and COVID-19 vaccines as the region recovers from the pandemic.
“Asean friends, let us not miss the opportunity of having the ‘pharmacy of the world’ as our close neighbor and dialogue partner,” Marcos said during his intervention during the 19th Asean-India Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
“Let us work closely with India in ensuring that our region has access to a sufficient volume of affordable, high-quality medicines and vaccines,” the Chief Executive added.
India is a major exporter of pharmaceuticals and is the world’s largest provider of generic medicines by volume.
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Meanwhile, Marcos also urged Asean to deepen its engagement with India on the “blue economy,” referring to the act of proper exploitation, preservation, and regeneration of the marine environment.
According to Marcos, Asean countries must find the “intersection” between maritime security and economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and it should be balanced by the shared concern of preventing further environmental damage to the region’s marine ecosystem.
“We cannot move towards a blue economy if our oceans cannot support sustainable vibrant life,” Marcos said.
The Chief Executive also encouraged India’s continued support for the work of the Asean Center for Biodiversity in mitigating biodiversity loss through the management of heritage parks.
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