India and the European Union (EU) on Saturday announced their decision to resume negotiations for a balanced and comprehensive trade agreement after a gap of eight years and unveiled an ambitious connectivity partnership, during a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of 27 member nations of the bloc. In his remarks, Modi invited the EU to support a proposal by India and South Africa to waive patents on COVID-19 vaccines so that there can be equitable vaccine access for the entire world, officials said. The meeting, participated by leaders of EU member states as well as the top leadership of the EU, also decided to launch negotiations on two other key agreements on investment protection and geographical indications.
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On economic front, India and EU agreed to have dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, informed Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary Vikas Swarup on May 08. "On economic front, both sides also agreed to have dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify our economic engagement," said MEA Secretary (West).
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen on May 08 said, "It was a remarkable Summit because it widened the scope and the view on the untapped potential in the relationship of the European Union and India." Prime Minister Narendra Modi today also virtually participated in the meeting of EU as a special invitee, on the invitation of Council's President.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited EU member states to participate in India-EU High Level Digital Forum that's likely to be held later this year, informed Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary Vikas Swarup on May 08. "PM also invited EU member states to participate in India-EU High Level Digital Forum that's likely to be held later this year, to enhance digital cooperation between India and EU via linking of start-ups supporting digital economy and for enhancing investments," said MEA Secretary (West).
Under-40s in the UK will be offered an alternative coronavirus vaccine to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said there is an "extremely small risk" of people suffering blood clots after having the jab.
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Union External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar attended a virtual conversation, called 'Global Dialogue Series' on May 05. He said, "Our vaccine production situation was different from many other countries. On what basis Covishield was being made in India? It's Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, you can say it's British-designed product. It was made in India as the vaccine owner saw India as an efficient production venue. Along with that the ability and approval to make in India, came an obligation to supply it to a large part of the world. So, people have to understand, it was not that vaccine production started in India, it was invented by an Indian, owned by an Indian, produced by an Indian." He further said, "It was a truly international collaboration. When there is an international collaboration, if somebody gave you a vaccine to make in India, then you have to do your part, otherwise, it doesn't work. It also came with support from the Covax initiative. So, there was an obligation to support the Covax initiative to give vaccines at a low cost to a number of nations."