Indonesia Seeks To Become Covid-19 Vaccine Hub Of Southeast Asia
Oct 11, 2020

Indonesia, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, has plans to establish itself as the Covid-19 vaccine research and development hub in Southeast Asia with support from China.

According to Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investments, Luhut Pandjaitan, China is readily supporting the county’s efforts. He said that after a meeting Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.

Indonesia has the strongest capacity for vaccine production in Southeast Asia, Wang noted, adding that he will endorse Chinese companies to step up cooperation, according to an official statement.

The country is already cooperating with Chinese firms on a coronavirus vaccine and also develops its own.

Volunteers in Indonesia’s city of Bandung, the capital of West Java province, are already taking part in trials for a vaccine being developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.

For its own inoculation, called the Merah Putih vaccine, the Indonesian government seeks to ensure there are enough doses for the country’s 270 million-strong population.

The two ministers also discussed developing three industrial zones in Indonesia’s Bintan, Batang and Semarang areas, as well as the participation of Chinese universities in researching herbal medicine in North Sumatra, according to the statement.

As of October 11, Indonesia recorded more than 333,000 Covid-19 infections and 11,844 deaths. Around 255,000 infected people recovered.

by Arno Maierbrugger