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Sitharaman calls for enhanced regional and global cooperation for resilient recovery from COVID pandemic
New Delhi, May 4, 2021
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called for enhanced regional and global cooperation as the key to success in the common pursuit of a resilient recovery from the COVID pandemic.
The Minister, also the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Governor for India, was addressing the Governor’s Seminar on “Cooperation for a Resilient Future”, held as part of ADB’s annual meeting yesterday.
Other participants included Japan, Georgia, China, the Philippines and The Netherlands. The virtual seminar was attended by delegates from 68 member-nations of the ADB.
Sitharaman called for international sharing of Information on all tools for fighting COVID -19 — diagnostic, therapeutic, vaccines or technology. She emphasised the need to enable India’s access to critical raw materials as essential for ramping up the country’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.
She expressed her appreciation and gratitude for India’s frontline workers determinedly fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Expressing her views on the feasibility for a green and resilient recovery from the crisis borne by the current pandemic and the role of India in this regard, she mentioned that India has been at the forefront of various initiatives including the setting up of the SAARC COVID-19 emergency fund and leading by example in global initiatives of Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) and COVAX.
India’s leadership in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and commitment to Paris Agreement goals has become an example of how positive global climate action can be advanced through partnership, she added.
Sitharaman also spoke on the need for the private sector and the civil society for partnering with the government to achieve resilient growth. The Finance Minister mentioned how Indian vaccine developers have cooperated and provided vaccines to the government at reasonable prices. Private companies were also contributing under their corporate social responsibility obligations. The Government’s policies aimed at reviving and supporting MSMEs will also go a long way in supporting resilient growth.
Cooperation for resilient and sustainable growth needed the involvement of multilateral institutions for the creation of digital assets as well as disaster-resilient assets while keeping human development a priority. She assured the meeting that India was committed to and stood ready to strengthen all efforts aimed at enhancing the regional as well as global cooperation.
She appreciated the ADB efforts for providing timely financial support for COVID and non-COVID projects. There should be a greater focus on health resilience in the Asia-Pacific and ADB should come out with comprehensive solutions in the matter, she added.