Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit has called for the lifting of intellectual property protection on COVID-19 vaccines, during a virtual meeting with trade ministers from Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries.
He said Thailand supports compulsory licensing, which enables countries to start producing COVID-19 vaccines without seeking permission from the patent holder. Thailand will also push for COVID-19 vaccines to be removed from intellectual property protection lists, as per the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.
At the meeting, Minister Jurin said Thailand backs the WTO’s move to accelerate negotiations on vaccine production with the World Health Organization (WHO), and will help with the transportation of vaccines and other essential goods required in the battle against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, APEC said a trade mechanism to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, multilateral free trade and a pathway to sustainability are required. The setting up of a COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, to facilitate the trade in vaccines and essential goods, is also necessary. (NNT)