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Covid-19: a compromise on vaccine patents possible "in the coming weeks", according to the WTO


The question of the lifting of intellectual property rights on vaccines opposes two groups of countries, recalled this Friday Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general of the WTO, during a press conference in Paris.

A compromise between rich and developing countries could be found on the lifting of patents for vaccines against Covid-19 in "

the coming weeks

", said Friday in Paris the director general of the WTO Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.


We believe that a common ground, a reasonable compromise could be found that would allow developing countries to have access to technology transfers and intellectual property while encouraging innovation and research

", said- she said at a press conference.

Read alsoCovid-19: would the lifting of patents make it possible to accelerate vaccination in the world?


We hope that there will be a breakthrough in the coming weeks

," said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, while adding that he could not promise that a compromise could be found in time for the summit between the European Union and the African Union on February 17 and 18 in Brussels.

She recalled that the question of the lifting of intellectual property rights on vaccines opposed two groups of countries.

On the one hand "

a group who are mainly developing countries, numbering almost a hundred, who believe that a lifting of intellectual property rights is essential to encourage and support manufacturing capacities

" at home, he said. -she explains.

On the other hand, a group "

of mainly developed countries who believe that it is above all important to guarantee access [to vaccines]...and who do not want to do anything that would discourage innovation and research and development because this is how new vaccines were invented

,” explained the director of the WTO.

What is important is access to vaccines, which requires donations, easier distribution, the need to lift trade restrictions as much as possible and which must also allow, now and in the future, the creation of production lines

,” declared French Foreign Trade Minister Franck Riester during the same press conference.


This is already the case when we see what is happening in Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa

," he added.

According to Franck Riester, “

in developing countries, intellectual property should never be an obstacle



If it is necessary - and this is the position of the EU - to further facilitate access to voluntary licenses, to compulsory licenses that already exist, let's work on it, we are ready to do it in the most constructive way possible.

“, assured the French minister, whose country holds the presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2022.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2022-01-28

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