Republic to play active role in vaccine production for region

Singapore will play an active role in ensuring a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as addressing imbalances in manufacturing capacity of vaccines, said Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday.

Mr Gan made the remarks as he represented the country at the Group of 20 (G-20) Trade and Investment Ministers' Meeting in Sorrento, Italy.

At the meeting, trade and investment ministers of G-20 members and guest countries endorsed a declaration that outlines their commitment to ensuring a strong, sustainable and inclusive economic recovery.

"It has been heartening to see the G-20 come together to ensure a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic," said Mr Gan.

"This will require efforts across the various key stakeholders to collaborate in identifying creative approaches and to take concrete actions to scale up and address the imbalance of manufacturing capacity for Covid-19 vaccines."

He added: "Singapore will also play an active role in this and will continue to work with manufacturers to scale up and diversify the production of vaccines for the region."

Mr Gan had said earlier this month in a written reply to a parliamentary question that Singapore is anchoring more vaccine manufacturing activities here not only to meet local demand, but also to supply to the world.

The trade and investment ministers also committed to supporting the necessary reform of the World Trade Organisation, emphasising the importance of promoting trade and environmental sustainability, and boosting the international competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Singapore was invited by Italy, which holds this year's G-20 presidency, to participate in the G-20 trade and investment meetings as a guest country.

The other G-20 guest countries include Brunei, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Netherlands, Rwanda and Spain.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2021, with the headline 'Republic to play active role in vaccine production for region'. Subscribe