Chief Economist of the IMF Gita Gopinath has said that India has been at the forefront in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and “really stands out” in terms of its vaccine policy. She hailed the country for playing a very important role during the crisis by manufacturing and shipping the Covid-19 vaccines to several nations.
Gopinath was responding to a question on India, which is a vaccine hub of the world, and the role the country can play in contributing to global economic recovery.
Gopinath pointed out that India makes up about 7 per cent of world GDP based on purchasing power parity terms.
“So when you’re that large, what happens in India has implications for many other countries in the world, especially countries in the region,” she said.
Noting that India was “hit very hard” by this pandemic, Gopinath said the country, which typically grows at over 6 per cent, recorded a growth of negative 8 per cent in 2020.
“So it was very hard hit but you do see the recovery coming back as the country has reopened, activities returning,” she said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected an impressive 11.5 per cent growth rate for India in 2021, making the country the only major economy of the world to register a double-digit growth this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Making the comments in an interactive session during the Inaugural Dr. Hansa Mehta Lecture, Gopinath said, “I also want to mention that India really stands out in terms of its vaccine policy. If you look at where exactly is one manufacturing hub for vaccines in the world – that will be India.”
Gopinath lauded the Serum Institute of India, saying it produces the most number of vaccines in the world in a regular year and has been manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine doses that are delivered to COVAX and then distributed to countries around the world.
“India has been at the forefront in fighting this pandemic,” she said, noting that India has been providing vaccines through grants to several of its neighbour countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar,Sri Lanka and through commercial arrangements as well.
The country has been playing a very important role in helping the world in the global health crisis through its vaccination policies, she said.