South Korea, Gates Foundation in deal to prepare for ‘next pandemic’
Seoul, Aug 16 (EFE).- South Korea’s president Yoon Suk-yeol and Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Tuesday pledged to strengthen cooperation in the development of vaccines and global public health.
Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, met with the South Korean government Tuesday and called on the Asian nation to become a leader in global health cooperation to assist in ending infectious diseases like Covid-19.
The multimillionaire and philanthropist is on a three-day visit to South Korea and has also met with SK Bioscience, the developer of the country’s Covid-19 vaccine.
“On behalf of the government of the Republic of Korea, I too would like to establish substantive cooperative relations with your foundation so that our country can contribute to promoting the health of the world’s citizens while continuing to build advanced bio health technologies,” Yoon said.Gates described South Korea as an ideal partner for the foundation’s goals for growth saying the nation had proved “incredible vaccine manufacturing, diagnostic manufacturing, R&D capabilities and diagnostic capabilities.
“This is a crisis moment for global health, so this is also a fantastic time for our foundation to strengthen the partnership with Korea. Providing great ideas for new tools and more resources to help those most in need,” Gates added.
Gates, who is visiting Seoul until Wednesday, spoke at the South Korean National Assembly on Tuesday and met with officials from SK Bioscience, with which the Gates Foundation has collaborated since 2013.
Both teams signaled their desire to continue working together on the development of new vaccines and treatments “to respond to the next pandemic.”
The businessman’s visit coincides with the announcement on Monday that the SK technology conglomerate will invest $250 million in the TerraPower company, founded by Gates, which develops small-sized nuclear power reactors.EFE