Kingston, India: India’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Rungsung Masakui, says that his country is exploring arrangements with Jamaica to give coronavirus vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with JIS (Jamaica Information Service ) , High Commissioner said, “With the COVID situation now, vaccines are on the card. We are the biggest vaccine manufacturer in the world. Our capacity is huge; it is 300 million per month. So we can think of collaborating in this area by sharing our products or by sharing our experiences.”
He added, “The manufacturing cost for vaccines in India is cheaper than in other countries.”
Further, he noted, “This is because of the capacity that we have. We have economies of scale because of our population.”
India was among countries cited by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, in a statement in Parliament on January 12, that the Government will enter into bilateral discussions with, to ascertain their level of support and the best arrangements for acquisition and distribution of safe vaccines to the population.
India is among the countries which provided COVID-19 vaccines to many countries; recently, two Caribbean countries wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India and Jamaica have traditionally enjoyed cordial and friendly relations based on common linkages of history, Parliamentary democracy, and membership of the Commonwealth, the English language, and the love of cricket. There is also a cultural heritage bond as Indian nationals were brought to this region as indentured labour between 1845 and 1917. Both India and Jamaica are members of NAM, G-77, G-15, WTO, WIPO, UN, and its various subsidiary bodies. Both being developing countries, share similar concerns and shared aspirations for their accelerated economic growth, eradication of poverty, improvement in the quality of life of their people, and promotion of equity.
Both also have shared stakes in shaping the emerging architecture of various multilateral institutions to address the existing inequities and address major contemporary issues related to energy security, food security, climate change, and international terrorism, among others.
Both have common interests in promoting South-South Cooperation and synergizing efforts towards the common objective of securing a better deal for the developing world in the relevant multilateral fora to promote the development imperatives of the South without impacting on their policy space.