Indonesia, South Korea intensify health cooperation

Indonesia, South Korea intensify health cooperation

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (right) delivered a joint press statement with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong (left) after a bilateral meeting at Pancasila Building, Jakarta, Friday (25/6/2021). (ANTARA/HO-Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, accentuated the significance of bolstering bilateral cooperation in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In difficult times arising during the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea is one of the countries with which Indonesia has established health cooperation," Foreign Minister Marsudi noted during a virtual media statement on Friday after a bilateral meeting with the South Korean foreign minister.

Both nations have forged collaborations in areas encompassing the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), diagnostic equipment, and medicines.

In addition, the Indonesian foreign minister welcomed several ongoing collaborations, specifically the development of a vaccine between PT Kalbe Farma and Genexine that is scheduled to conduct phase 2 and 3 of the clinical trials in Jakarta and Central Java in July 2021.

"If all stages run properly, the vaccine is expected to be available at the end of 2021," Marsudi noted.

Both nations are also building therapeutic alliances through a collaboration between the National Institute of Health Research and Development and Daewoong Infion and PT Kalbe Farma and Genexine (GX-17) for the production of COVID-19 drugs that are currently in the testing phase.

Cooperation in diagnostic tools is also being initiated with investment plans for Korean diagnostic companies SD Biosensor and Sugentech to open a factory in Indonesia.

In the context of health cooperation, the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have inked the Minutes of Understanding on the Inclusive Program for COVID-19 Response, worth US$4 million (approximately Rp57.7 billion), to support various pandemic prevention programs and their socio-economic impacts in Indonesia.

"These various collaborations are certainly expected to strengthen the national health industry and increase our preparedness to face the threat of pandemics in the future," Foreign Minister Marsudi remarked.

Not only bilateral cooperation but Indonesia and South Korea have also agreed to actively cooperate internationally to promote equal access to COVID-19 vaccines.

"We also agreed to expand cooperation for the development and availability of vaccines," Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong stated.

In his presentation, Foreign Minister Chung highlighted that President Moon Jae-in had delivered a commitment worth US$200 million (approximately Rp2.9 trillion) to the vaccine-sharing facility for low- and middle-income countries (COVAX AMC), in which Indonesia is one of the co-chairs.

Through this donation, the South Korean government expects to support Indonesia and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in procuring and distributing vaccines.

“We highly laud Indonesia, which has played a major role as the co-chair of COVAX AMC. We believe that Indonesia, as the host of the G20 Summit next year, will also make a major contribution in overcoming COVID and bringing about economic recovery," Foreign Minister Chung affirmed.

On the sidelines of his visit to Jakarta, Chung also sought special attention for South Korean citizens in Indonesia, so that they can participate in the COVID-19 vaccination. Related news: Indonesia joins with South Korea in COVID-19 vaccine push
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