Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Singapore on Wednesday for a two-day visit where he will be attending the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS). He will also hold a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence.
During the visit, Modi is scheduled to attend the 16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Breakfast Summit, and the Second Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit and deliver the keynote address at the Singapore FinTech Festival.
"It is a great honour to be the first Head of Government to deliver the keynote address at Singapore Fintech Festival, said the PM at the beginning of the address.
During the speech, Modi spoke extensively on the role of technology in reforming lives of Indian citizens and lauded digital transaction and rapidly rising need of a digital economy
Here are the key highlights from PM Modi’s keynote speech:
"We are in an age of a historic transition brought about by technology"
PM said, "The character of the global economy is changing. Technology is defining competitiveness and power in the new world. And it is creating boundless opportunities to transform lives"
Modi also talked about inclusive development:
My govt came to office in 2014 with a mission of inclusive development that would change the lives of every citizen, even the weakest in the remotest village. That mission needed a solid foundation of financial inclusion for all-a task that wasn’t easy in a country of India’s size, said Modi during his speech. ‘
PM lauded biometric technology, Aadhaar and UPI systems:
"Financial inclusion has become a reality for 1.3 billion Indians. We have generated more than 1.2 billion biometric identities – Aadhaar, in just a few years.
Rapidly rising digital transactions in India powered by Rupay and BHIM. Today, 128 banks in India are connected to UPI. Transactions on UPI grew 1500 times in the last 24 months.
"Every month, the value of the transaction is growing by over 30 per cent", said PM Modi.
India is the best destination for startups: PM Modi
PM Modi said there is an explosion of fintech innovation and enterprise in India. "It has turned India into a leading fintech and startup nation in the world.
"The future of fintech and Industry 4.0 is emerging in India. I say this to all the fintech companies and startups – India is your best destination," he added.
"We see inspiring stories of extraordinary innovation changing ordinary lives. But, there is much to be done. Our focus should be on development for all through development of the marginalised," he said.
At the end of the speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched APIX – online global fintech marketplace, at the Singapore Fintech Festival.
In his two-day visit, the prime minister will have a number of high-profile multilateral and bilateral meetings with global leaders including US Vice President Pence and Singapore premier Lee Hsein Loong.
Pence will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi, the White House said Tuesday releasing the schedule of the Vice President Pence on the eve of the meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to take place 12.30 pm local Singapore time, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral defence cooperation and a common vision for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, the Whiste House said.
India and ASEAN celebrated 25 years of engagement in 2017, which culminated in the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit on January 25 this year. The Summit was followed by the participation of all ASEAN leaders in India’s Republic Day celebrations as chief guests.>