WTO chief calls for more vaccine plants in developing countries

WTO chief calls for more vaccine plants in developing countries

2021-03-01
FILE PHOTO: Incoming World Trade Organization President (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks during an interview with Reuters in Potomac, Maryland, U.S., February 15, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization’s new director-general said on Monday the trade body needs to work with companies to open up more manufacturing sites for COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.

“People are dying in poor countries,” said Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in a speech to the WTO’s 164 members at a meeting in her first day in the job.

“We must focus on working with companies to open up and license more viable manufacturing sites now in emerging markets and developing countries,” she said, adding that technology transfers were also required.

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