Vaccine-making in India for Indo-Pacific region to exceed $1 billion by 2022

The United States is hopeful that expectations for production of one billion Covid-19 vaccines in India for the Indo-Pacific region as part of the Quad plan by 2022 will be exceeded, David Marchick, CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) told ET.

Marchick, currently visiting India to discuss DFC funding for vaccines and green energy projects, is upbeat about vaccine manufacturing capabilities of India including Biological E.

The Biologiocal E has state of the art largest facility in the world to produce significant number of vaccines for Indian domestic requirements as well as for Indo-Pacific region under the Quad plan, Marchick told ET.

On Monday, the US and Biological E finalised a financing arrangement for $50 million to expand the vaccine maker’s capacity to produce Covid-19 vaccines. The arrangement was finalised in March when leaders of the US, Australia, Japan and India – Quad countries – met during a virtual summit.

The US had said it would work via its DFC to finance Biological E’s efforts to produce at least 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses for India and developing countries by the end of 2022. Biological E’s new facility, which is already producing vaccines, can and will assist to solve the pandemic, according to Marchick. The supply chain for supply raw material for production of vaccines has also been addressed, he pointed out.

The DFC-Biological E agreement represents a model of the close collaboration amongst countries that will be essential to achieve US President Joe Biden’s goal of addressing the pandemic in 2022, informed sources said. DFC’s investment in Biological E is part of the agency’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative. India is the most important destination for DFC and Vaccines is not the only area where DFC is investing in India. Projects to address climate change challenges is also on the radar of DFC including solar panels.

ET has learnt that DFC is keen make India a hub for solar panels – a sector currently dominated by China. Besides DFC, last December, announced that it will invest $54 million in equity for the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund to support the development of critical infrastructure projects. The March DFC announced the second disbursement of a $50 million loan to Northern Arc Capital to expand access to loans in several priority sectors across India. Financing will primarily benefit women-owned businesses as well as products and services benefitting women, along with businesses in the food security and water, sanitation, and hygiene.