India to Make Covid-19 Vaccine Available to Friendly Neighbors
A syringe sits in a bottle of Ketamine inside the operating room at the Pratunam Polyclinic in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

India to Make Covid-19 Vaccine Available to Friendly Neighbors

Indian pharmaceutical companies will be among the largest producers of a coronavirus vaccine once it is available and will ensure supplies to friendly nations in the neighborhood, said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

India’s relations with Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have never been better “contrary to impressions,” Shringla said Friday at a foreign policy seminar in New Delhi

The South Asian nation, which is engaged in a border confrontation with China since early May, continues to remain open to dialog with Beijing, he said.

“It is an unprecedented situation,” Shringla said of the ongoing conflict that turned bloody in June killing 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops. “We have never had this kind of situation since 1962.”

Relations between New Delhi and Beijing have entered a critical new phase this week following fresh conflict along their disputed Himalayan border, after multiple rounds of high-level military talks failed to end the months-long standoff. The border tensions have led to a deterioration of economic ties, with India limiting Chinese investments, tightening scrutiny on visas and moving to keep Huawei Technologies Co. out of 5G networks among other decisions.

India remains firm on its decision to stay out of the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement between Asean countries, China and Japan, Shringla said. India had exited the pact last November citing the adverse impact it would have on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable sections of Indian society.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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