President Moon Jae-in and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates agreed Friday to expand cooperation in efforts to develop vaccines and treatments against the new coronavirus during their phone talks, Cheong Wa Dae said.
In their 25-minute conversation, made at Gates' request, they focused on ways to tackle COVID-19 sweeping through the world.
Leading the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for philanthropic campaigns, Gates has been striving to help the international community overcome the virus crisis.
Describing South Korea's quarantine initiative as a global model, he lauded it for supplying virus testing kits to developing countries, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.
"We expect more cooperation with the foundation in terms of humanitarian assistance to countries vulnerable to infectious diseases and the development and distribution of medicine," Moon was quoted as saying.
The Gates foundation has provided support to the Seoul-based International Vaccine Institute (IVI), an international agency dedicated to vaccine research and development.
It also co-invested in Right Fund, a non-government agency that was set up in 2018, together with Seoul's health ministry and five Korean biopharmaceutical firms to help developing countries resolve public health problems. (Yonhap)