Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal participated in the G20 Virtual and Investment Ministers Meeting on Thursday. While addressing the virtual meet, Goyal said that India has provided medical supplies to over 120 countries to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, out of which 43 countries received them as a grant.
"We offer full support to any global engagements to further this cause. Staying true to our tradition of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' — the world is one big family. India has unconditionally provided medical supplies to over 120 countries to combat this disease, of which 43 countries received it as a grant. We are also sharing our medical and public health expertise and capacity with them, using digital technologies," said Goyal during the meeting.
"An overriding priority for all countries at this time is to save precious lives," the minister added.
He also called upon the G20 nations to also agree to provide diagnostic and protective equipment and healthcare professionals across borders where they are most needed.
Goyal said that learning from this extremely distressing experience, the world has to come together to build partnerships among like-minded nations with shared values of democracy, rules-based and transparent business models and concern for humanity as a whole. "India wishes to contribute to this global effort," he added.
The Union Minister also spoke about India's combating abilities against the virus by sharing an example of the country's PPE production which has been ramped up manifold considering the requirement nationwide.
"When the pandemic broke out, India barely produced a few thousand pieces of Personal Protective Equipment. We had never needed PPEs in large numbers ever before. When we realised that countries were not able to supply enough for our needs, our domestic manufacturers created and ramped up capacities. So much so, that we now produce nearly 300,000 PPEs every day," he said.
Speaking of the digital divide between the developed and the developing countries, Goyal said that there is an urgent need to build the digital skills and capacities of developing countries and less developed countries, adding that the world must not rush to make binding rules on digital trade and e-commerce as it will deprive the less developed, the opportunity to benefit from the immense potential in these areas.
(With ANI inputs)