Need to boost India-Austria trade, investment ties in post-Covid world: Naidu

(IANS): Vice President M Venkaih Naidu on Wednesday said that India and Austria need to boost trade and investment ties in the post-Covid world, while people-to-people contact need to be further encouraged.

Welcoming a Parliamentary delegation led by National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka, he underlined that the long-standing, vibrant, and deep interface across institutions, academia, political institutions and people of the two nations is a key pillar of the bilateral relationship.

Stressing on the need for regular exchange of such high-level visits between both countries, Naidu said that this will help to sustain the momentum in bilateral relations and also provide the required direction to the executive officials.

“Both the countries share similar values and goals such as commitment to democracy, respect for rule of law, global peace and security while India has proven that democracy can flourish in developing nations with very large populations and immense diversity,” the Rajya Sabha Chairman said.

Referring to India’s contribution to the world in fighting Covid-19, he said that India has exported more than 166.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to more than 96 countries and two UN entities till March 9, 2022 under the initiative Vaccine Maitri.

He also stated that India possesses capacity to produce more than five billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines per year. India manufactures eight Covid-19 vaccines among which four vaccines – namely Covishield, Covaxin, Covovax, and Janssen – have Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of World Health Organisation (WHO) while another vaccine, Corbevax’s application for EUL is under WHO’s consideration, he added.

Informing about India’s capacity for supply of medicines and medical equipment, Naidu that since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, India has provided medical assistance to more than 150 countries in the form of medicines and medical equipment whereas its domestic pharmaceutical industry had become the centre of global attention due to its production capacity for generics as well as high-end lifesaving antibiotics.

“India and Austria have always been reliable partners that were further underlined during the Covid-19 pandemic situation and extended gratitude to the Government of Austria for the emergency supply of medical equipment from Austria during the second wave of Covid-19 in India,” Naidu said.

He also stated that as on March 9 2022, India has entered into mutual recognition of vaccination certificates with 31 countries and continues to do so.

The Austrian delegation appreciated the friendly relationships between the two countries and hoped that such visits would further strengthen the existing bonds.

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