Business applauds WTO Director’s leadership in supporting smart policies to end the global pandemic as quickly as possible.

As the pandemic continues to have a devastating impact in many parts of the world, there is an urgent need to step up efforts to get COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, oxygen and medical equipment to those who need them, wherever they live.

Economic recovery and public health will be at risk as long as the pandemic rages anywhere around the globe—because “nobody is safe, until everyone is safe.”

That’s why the world’s leading advocates of job creation, innovation and creativity sent a letter to World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to applaud her vision and leadership in helping to address the global challenge to defeat coronavirus. Collectively, these organizations represent 39 business associations—including those from Asia, Europe, and North America.

With global vaccine production forecasted to exceed 11 billion doses by the end of 2021, business believes it’s vital to support measures backed by science and data to ensure the safe production and widespread distribution of these lifesaving solutions.

Key Takeaways:

Eliminate Barriers: “We all need to work together to explore ways to broaden access and eliminate trade barriers that prevent vaccines and other medical goods and technologies from reaching those who need them. The key problem we are trying to solve require us to consider the trade-related obstacles that are preventing timely – and equitable – access to these critical products”

Boost Supply Chain Resiliency: “Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 requires production, as well as widespread distribution and administration of vaccines.  A sustainable, durable solution will necessarily address a host of issues, including: re-distribution of excess vaccine supplies to countries that face shortages; the regulatory and trade barriers to vaccine production and distribution; efficient supply chain operations; procurement challenges; and the potential risks associated with counterfeit and illicit trade in medical goods”

Protect Innovation: “The challenges associated with vaccinating the global population are multifaceted and require a holistic approach, rather than one narrowly focused on intellectual property, which has not proven to be a barrier to the discovery or distribution of Covid-related technologies and is in fact enabling additional manufacturing and technology transfer through voluntary licenses.” […] “In addition to not addressing COVID-19 vaccine equity, any proposed waiver would compromise the world’s ability to respond to this and future pandemics.

Support COVAX: “We appreciate the efforts of the COVAX Manufacturing Task Force, which is bringing together innovators and manufacturers, and expect that this kind of matchmaking will lead to even more global partnerships and enable greater production, without exacerbating the global competition for finite ingredients and other inputs.”

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