by Deok Cheol Kwon, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare 26th September 2017 Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Doek-cheol Kwon, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare. First of all, I would like to welcome everyone from Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers’ Network and key stakeholders from all over the world. I would like to thank you for sharing your valuable time with us at the 2017 Annual General Meeting in Seoul, the capital city of the Republic of Korea. This year’s AGM is particularly meaningful for Korean vaccine industry as it is the first AGM held in Korea to be hosted by SK Chemicals and co-hosted by IVI. I believe it is also meaningful to host an international event related to vaccine, which is playing a very important role especially in public health. Vaccine is, in my belief, one of the most effective measures to reduce global morbidity and mortality by infectious diseases. The Korean government also clearly recognizes the value and meaning of vaccine as a part of social security system, and is making a lot of efforts at the government level. At corporate level as well, leading Korean pharmaceutical companies are delivering ceaseless effort to research, develop and supply vaccine products through technological innovation as well as try to become biopharmaceutical powerhouses. In addition to the efforts at each country level, international collaboration among countries and vaccine manufacturers is essential to raise the level of public health in the international community. In this sense I have no doubt the efforts of Korean vaccine manufacturers will continue through the opportunities like today’s meeting. In order to expand national immunization program, the government of the Republic of Korea is also prioritizing areas essential for the prevention and control of infectious diseases, and plans to continue expanding support for 18 vaccines. I know many people came to the annual meeting today from the most important opinion leaders and agencies such as the World Health Organization, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, Gavi and CEPI, beside the domestic and international vaccine manufacturers. Welcome again. In addition to government and corporate initiatives, the role and contribution of international agencies and foundations is also very invaluable. I would like to extend my sincere welcome to all those with us today. And I wish you a meaningful annual meeting. Thank you.