New Delhi , July 1:
Asserting that the present COVID-19 crisis is a “critical inflexion point” for regional cooperation in BIMSTEC, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that with an increasing demand for alternate production locations in several supply chains, BIMSTEC countries are ideally placed to attract shifting industries.
Speaking at a Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) Webinar on ‘Revisiting Economic Cooperation in BIMSTEC in post-COVID-19 Era’, Muraleedharan said if the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries are able to capitalise on this demand, they will be able to provide themselves much needed jobs in the manufacturing sector.
“Trade routes and supply chains are being redrawn, as are business plans. As multinational enterprises diversify their manufacturing base to increase resilience and reliable supply chains, BIMSTEC countries have a window of opportunity,” he said. There is an increasing demand for alternate production locations in several supply chains and India and other BIMSTEC countries are ideally placed to attract shifting industries and gain a foothold into these value chains, Muraleedhran said.
India’s role as a “pharmacy of the world” has come into focus during this crisis, he said.
“We have a world-class pharmaceutical industry that is the producer of choice for critical medications with brand recognition in all geographies and markets. The pandemic produced an explosion in demand for drugs such as hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol produced in India,” Muraleedharan said.
In a coordinated response involving several branches of the government and multiple private sector pharma companies, India was able to supply large volumes of these drugs to friends and consumers across the world, he said.