UK India Business Council welcomes global cooperation on vaccines at G7

By Kealan Finnegan

The UKIBC applauds the commitment from G7 to join forces for shared global prosperity, in overcoming COVID-19 and working towards a greener, safer, freer future.

The overarching theme of the summit, Build Back Better, set by the UK as hosts, covered the current global priorities – economic and societal recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating the green transition to overcome climate change.

The UKIBC was pleased that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to participate, and we hope that future hosts also invite the Prime Minister to attend, as India will be a critical ally in tackling global challenges.

Joining virtually, PM Modi highlighted India’s commitment to democracy, freedom of thought and liberty: the values the G7 stands for. On this year’s focus areas, Mr Modi highlighted the importance of global health vaccines and recovery from COVID-19, environmental and climate change, and open societies and open economies.

UK India Business Council Chair, Richard Heald, said: “It was great to see such strong cooperation between participants at the G7 Summit, including the UK and India, on vaccine rollout, health security, democratic values, and infrastructure. We are better off working together, sharing ideas and experiences, and relevant solutions through people-to-people links, trade, investment, and R&D. Business will play a key role in the innovation, production, and distribution of the goods required to overcome global challenges, including the urgent pandemic and climate change. We at UKIBC congratulate Prime Minister Johnson for hosting a successful summit and warmly welcome the critical inputs from Prime Minister Modi to achieve the G7’s goals.”

The UKIBC believes that global cooperation will support the UK-India bilateral relationship, as two key allies, and the bilateral relationship will support global cooperation as the UK and India share goods, services, and innovations more freely.

We also welcome the ‘One Earth, One Health’ narrative of PM Modi in a speech on a session on health. Calling for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to overcome the COVID pandemic and prevent future pandemics, Modi also emphasised the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies to deal with the challenge. Ensuring that cyberspace advances democratic values was also outlined by the Prime Minister as a key goal.

While, on a session on climate change, Mr Modi outlined the need for developing countries to have better access to climate finance. The UKIBC recognises that climate-related and sustainable finance will be vital to help poorer countries to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and clean energy, and to incentivise sustainable behaviours. Through our Energy Transition and Green Economy Sector Advocacy Group we will support our members and clients to play their part, through renewable energy solutions, energy-related infrastructure, as well as sustainable financing.

The UKIBC welcomes the G7’s immediate response to Mr Modi’s proposals: a pledge of USD100 billion a year by rich countries to help poorer ones cut emissions and cope with global warming; and donations of 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses over the next year to poorer countries. As UKIBC’s Kealan Finnegan wrote ahead of the summit, India and South Africa, as the two developing nations at the event, were likely to call for greater support from advanced countries for the world, through sharing expertise and enabling widespread distributions and production of vaccines.

The global vaccine roll-out will remain important in the coming weeks, months, and years as the world rises to the COVID challenge and introduces systems to enable the planet to live with COVID. Energy transition financing is also a vital theme and will be one on which the public and private sector focus in the lead up to, and beyond, COP26 in Glasgow in November.

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