JAKARTA, Indonesia

The Indonesian foreign minister left for the UK and Switzerland on Monday to secure coronavirus vaccine deals.

“The main objective of this trip includes securing commitments from other sources for the COVID-19 vaccines within the framework of bilateral vaccine cooperation,” Retno Marsudi said at a virtual press conference before her departure.

She was joined by Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir in the official trips.

Marsudi said she will hold meetings with several institutions, including World Health Organization, Gavi vaccine alliance and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations within the COVAX Facility framework to discuss multilateral cooperation.

“Another purpose of this trip was to strengthen medium- and long-term cooperation between Indonesian firm Bio Farma and its partners abroad,” she said.

Marsudi is also scheduled to meet her British counterpart and the vice president of Switzerland as well as several Swiss companies.

Currently, Indonesia is working on vaccine development cooperation with China and South Korea.

The government seeks to begin vaccination in November after securing deals on millions of vaccine doses with three Chinese companies.

Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan met with the leaders of Chinese vaccine manufacturers, including Cansino, Sinopharm and Sinovac in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan over the weekend.

His ministry said in a press release that the three companies have agreed to supply vaccines that have entered the third phase of clinical trials.

* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta

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