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International pharma companies eye Korea as vaccine production hub: PM

New Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum (Yonhap)
New Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum (Yonhap)


New Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on Tuesday hinted that more multinational vaccine makers could be seeking a production base in Korea.

“Korea is one of the few countries in the world that, as you know, can produce vaccines when combined with various technologies of the US,” he told reporters in his first press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

“Many multinational pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen and Moderna, want to form vaccine partnerships with Korea,” he said, adding that there are high expectations for a tie-up to materialize from the upcoming summit on Friday.

Kim also expressed hopes that the summit would serve as an opportunity to further enhance the Korea-US alliance.

Following US President Joe Biden’s remarks that the nation would send an additional 20 million COVID-19 vaccines abroad by the end of June, some local media reports, citing sources, said Korea could become the “first negotiators” and expect a positive outcome of the consultation.

When asked whether securing vaccines will be on the agenda during the Friday summit, Kim stopped short of any confirmation.

“I understand that various (related) efforts are ongoing, but I don’t know exactly whether (securing vaccines) will be on the summit agenda and in what way if it does,” Kim said.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)



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