In May 2021, as India witnessed a deadly surge in COVID-19 cases, Asia Business Council members took immediate action to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow members in India and help alleviate a humanitarian disaster of extreme proportions.
In response to an appeal letter from Council Chairman Daniel Tsai and Vice-chairman Tak Niinami, members made donations to New Delhi-based trade association the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which is coordinating imports of critical supplies, making lifesaving drugs available, and supporting the ongoing vaccination drive.
Apart from a lead donation of US$500,000 from Taipei-headquartered Fubon Group, Suntory Holdings (Japan), SM Foundation (Philippines), Hyundai Capital (South Korea), PT Triputra Investindo Arya (Indonesia), DatVietVAC Group Holdings (Vietnam), and Gund Investment (Mongolia) also made monetary contributions to CII.
In addition, as an employer of India’s tech community, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has committed to donating 1000 oxygen concentrators to India, including 500 oxygen concentrators to CII, to assist with on-the-ground relief efforts.
“The situation in India is especially heart-wrenching for those of us who have personal friends in the country,” said Asia Business Council Chairman Daniel Tsai, who is also Chairman of Fubon Group. “I am proud that Asia Business Council Members have acted with such generosity to support hard-hit areas in India, and we call on the international business community to help address the humanitarian crisis.”
“The scale and severity of the pandemic has reached extreme levels in India, and we commend the work of the Confederation of Indian Industry and other organizations working tirelessly on the ground to distribute lifesaving supplies. We are committed to helping them address this public health emergency,” said Asia Business Council Vice-Chairman Tak Niinami, who is also CEO of Suntory Holdings.
Aside from supporting CII, companies led by Council members have also provided medical supplies and financial resources to India through other avenues or partner organizations:
- Air Liquide (France) increased its production of medical oxygen in India to maximum capacity and is coordinating with the Indian and French governments on a solution to import 200 tons of oxygen for delivery to Indian hospitals.
- Fubon Group (Taiwan) donated another US$500,000 to World Vision, an NGO that is providing personal protective supplies and medical equipment, donating essentials to vulnerable families, and supporting vaccine distribution in India.
- HSBC Holdings plc (United Kingdom) committed US$1.5 million to support UNICEF to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to India and other countries on behalf of the COVAX facility and an additional $10 million to charities in India focused on supporting pandemic relief efforts.
- Indorama Ventures (Thailand), the world’s biggest maker of recyclable PET, sent 360 oxygen concentration units, valued at US$275,000, to hospitals in Delhi and Jaipur in India.
- Iron Mountain (United States) provided financial assistance through the Richard Reese Relief Fund, conducted daily response calls, and provided financial and moral support to employees.
- JK Tyre & Industries Ltd. (India) and its group companies have deployed over US$2.75 million in financial resources to fight the pandemic, including installing more than 250 oxygen beds in remote health care facilities, and donating over 300 oxygen cylinders and 20 oxygen concentrators to local hospitals.
- PI Industries Ltd. (India) set up 12 oxygen plants across hospitals in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi, donated a new CT scan machine, conducted a vaccination drive for over 15,000 employees and dependents, and provided financial assistance to healthcare facilities for oxygen concentrators, oxygen-CPAP devices, medicines.
- Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia), the world’s biggest energy company, worked with various stakeholders to supply critical equipment such as oxygen tanks.
- Suntory Holdings (Japan) pledged US$600,000 to support COVID-19 relief in India, focusing on increasing access to medical care in the hardest-hit areas and supporting trade partners that have been affected by the surging pandemic.
- Temasek (Singapore) mobilized their networks of staff, friends, and partners to distribute equipment and supplies to areas in India most in need, including over 8,500 oxygen concentrators, 500 BiPAP machines, and 50,000 oximeters, as well as ICU-grade ventilators equipped with remote monitoring and control capabilities.
Speaking from the Council’s headquarters Hong Kong SAR, Mrs. Priyanka Chauhan, Consul-General of India to Hong Kong SAR, said, “In a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe, and it is encouraging to see global business leaders show their solidarity for our efforts to overcome the second wave of COVID-19 in India. We appreciate, and are touched by, the goodwill and support extended by the Asia Business Council during this challenging time.”