President Moon Jae-in on Jan. 27 delivers a special address to the World Economic Forum 2021 via videoconferencing from Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap News)

By Xu Aiying and Yoon Sojung

President Moon Jae-in on Jan. 27 called Korea a "safe and stable partner and investment destination."

In a special address to the Davos Agenda 2021 of the World Economic Forum via videoconferencing, President Moon said that despite the pandemic, Korea has never resorted to a lockdown or border closure.

"I hope that the Korean New Deal will lay ground for global companies and venture start-ups to take on new challenges and become a catalyst for expanding cooperation in future industries," he said.

"Korea will host the second P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030) Summit in May, through which we seek to spearhead international cooperation in overcoming the climate crisis."

"As COVID-19 becomes more prolonged, inequality is widening — a gap that we are witnessing both within countries, and between countries,” he said. "Equally as important as responding to the immediate COVID-19 outbreak and the economic crisis, is our commitment to pool our wisdom to fight against polarization and inequality in the post-COVID-19 era."

On Korea's COVID-19 situation, the president said, "Korea has entered the stage of overcoming this pandemic, and has set a goal for inclusive recovery and resurgence."

"As with all other countries, we will begin by carrying out vaccinations which will be the first step we take towards herd immunity," he added.

"Korea has entered into contracts with many pharmaceutical companies to secure a supply of various types of vaccines that will sufficiently cover our entire population. We have decided on free vaccinations for the country to uphold the cause of an inclusive recovery in our everyday lives."

The chief executive's speech was streamed via videoconferencing with other influential global figures attending the forum in Switzerland, which hosts the event every year.




Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Korea is rising as a production base for vaccines and medication. Pictured here are researchers at SK Bioscience on Nov. 15 working at a lab. (Yonhap News)

By Kim Minji and Lee Hana

Korea is rising as a production base for vaccines and medication for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samsung Biologics has signed contract manufacturing organization (CMO) agreements with two pharmaceutical companies abroad to make a novel coronavirus-neutralizing antibody, Yonhap News reported on Nov. 18.

The Korean company signed a deal in April with the U.K.'s GlaxoSmithKline and in May with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. In five months, Samsung has manufactured and delivered its initial supply to its partners.

Developed by Eli Lilly and mass-produced by Samsung, the antibody allows patients to receive treatment in a timely manner. The manufacturing timeline for the production of medical supplies was shortened by reducing the period for biomedical tech transfer to three months. 

SK Bioscience in July signed a CMO deal with the U.K.'s AstraZeneca to produce COVID-19 vaccines. The following month, the Korean company signed a contract development and manufacturing organization agreement with Novavax of the U.S. on vaccine production. 

GC Pharma signed a deal with the Norway-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines developed by multinational pharmaceutical companies. 

Korean biotech company GL Rapha will manufacture a portion of the Sputnik V, the world's first registered vaccine against COVID-19 developed by Russia.

"Korean pharmaceutical and biotech companies have the production capabilities and are now recognized and trusted around the world. This is proof that Korea has the competitiveness to serve as an advanced base for the Asian market," said Lee Jae-guk, executive director at the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association.

President Moon Jae-in on Nov. 18 attended a biotech event at Yonsei University's international campus in Incheon's Songdo district. He said the Korean biotech industry is safeguarding the health of humanity by fighting the pandemic, adding that Korea will grow beyond a production base into biotech powerhouse.


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