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Foreign Secretary emphasizes promotion of biotechnology products
March 15, 2022

(FILE PHOTO)

The second meeting of the Working Group on International Cooperation and Partnerships in Vaccine Production was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on Tuesday.

In his remarks, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood stressed the need to look beyond the pandemic and use this opportunity to promote local production of medical biotechnology products in Pakistan. He said at the diplomatic front, Pakistan has maintained its position on the advocacy for equitable access to vaccines and international partnerships for global health security.

The FS acknowledged the efforts led by the NIH in completing a holistic mapping of indigenous capacity in vaccine manufacturing, which was one of the key objectives of the Working Group mechanism.

Executive Director (NIH) Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram underscored the necessity of continued up-gradation of manufacturing and regulatory systems for increasing the scope of indigenous vaccine production and local pharmaceutical products.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representatives to WHO Ambassador Khalil Hashmi and WTO Dr. Mujtaba Piracha, updated the participants on various work streams at the WTO, including ongoing discussions on patent waivers.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of the recent announcement by WHO regarding approval of Pakistan’s Expression of Interest to seek technology transfer and technical support under the COVAX initiative of the WHO.