India looking forward to helping Philippine pharmaceutical sector

Vials of Covishield, AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine are pictured inside a lab where they are being manufactured at India's Serum Institute in Pune on January 22, 2021.
AFP/Punit Paranjpe

MANILA, Philippines — India is looking forward to help the Philippines strengthen its domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, its envoy said Monday after paying a courtesy call on Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., the presumptive president-elect.

Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran said Marcos brought it up and "was very keen to see domestic manufacturing of pharmaceutical products."

"Indian companies are looking forward to strong engagement and, I think, in the new administration, we will carry forward the dialogue with the view [of] creating domestic capacities in the pharmaceutical sector to contribute to the health security of the Philippines," Kumaran told reporters after a meeting with Marcos.

He stressed that India is "one of the strongest partners" of the Philippines in the health sector.

"A lot of pharmaceutical products, a lot of the vaccines to the Philippines come from India. During COVID-19, we witnessed strengthening of this partnership," Kumaran said.

India is home to the Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer.

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The Philippines struggled to secure vaccines at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic but it has since built up its inventory through donations and imports. 

The country does not manufacture any COVID-19 vaccines.

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