New Delhi: Ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee’s trip to Papua New Guinea, the government approved the signing of an agreement between the two countries, seeking cooperation in the field of healthcare and medical sciences.
“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of healthcare and medical Science,” an official statement said.
The pact will encourage cooperation between the Health Ministries of both the nations through joint initiatives in the sector.
“It will strengthen bilateral ties between India and Papua New Guinea,” the statement said.
Taking forward the ‘Look East’ policy of the government, Mukherjee embarked on a six-day trip to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand this week, his first state visit to the two countries.
The visit is likely to give push to Indian pharmaceutical companies to set up businesses in the pacific nation after the local government withdrew a ban in January.
Papua New Guinea is looking towards India for enhanced cooperation in the health sector and capacity building in Information Technology.
Meanwhile the draft Surrogacy (Regulations) Bill, 2016 which was to come up before the Union Cabinet for clearance was withdrawn from the agenda at the last moment, sources said.
The Health Ministry, which had drafted a bill, has legal provisions to allow single women including divorcees and widows to become surrogate mothers besides provisions for setting up of a regulatory body.