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Your Excellency Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka,

Members of the media,

27 PM Modi at Joint Press Statement WITH President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, in Colombo Sri Lanka (9)

I am delighted to be in Sri Lanka, in this beautiful city of Colombo.

I have eagerly looked forward to visiting one of our closest neighbours and a nation with which we share so much.

I am truly honoured by your warm welcome and friendship.

I am conscious of the significance of this visit. It is the first standalone bilateral visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian Prime Minister since 1987.

Last month, President Sirisena honoured us by making India his first foreign visit as President. I am glad to be here so soon.

This is how it should be between neighbours. We should meet regularly.

27 PM Modi at Joint Press Statement WITH President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, in Colombo Sri Lanka (6)

It helps us understand each other better; find solutions to mutual concerns; and, move our relationship forward.

That is what we achieved in my meetings with President Sirisena today.

Economic ties are a key pillar of our relationship.

The progress we have made reflects our shared commitment to stronger economic cooperation.

Our trade has seen impressive growth over the past decade. I am aware of your concerns about trade with India. As I said in Delhi, we will try and address them.

The agreement today on cooperation between our customs authorities is a step in that direction. It will simplify trade and reduce non-tariff barriers on both sides.

We are not just looking at addressing problems. We are also focusing on new opportunities.

Today, Lanka IOC and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation have agreed to jointly develop the Upper Tank Farm of the China Bay Installation in Trincomalee on mutually agreed terms.

A Joint Task Force will be constituted soon to work out the modalities. India stands ready to help Trincomalee become a regional petroleum hub.

27 PM Modi at Joint Press Statement WITH President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, in Colombo Sri Lanka (7)

I also look forward to early commencement of work on the ground in the Sampur Coal Power Project. This landmark project would meet Sri Lanka`s energy needs.

The ocean economy is a new frontier that holds enormous promise for both of us. It is a priority for our two countries. Our decision to set up a Joint Task Force on Ocean Economy is a significant step, especially because of our proximity.

People are at the heart of our relations. We have taken a number of decisions to encourage people to people contacts, improve connectivity, and increase tourism.

We will extend the facility of "Tourist Visa on Arrival - Electronic Travel Authorization” Scheme to Sri Lankan citizens from the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on 14 April 2015.

Air India will soon start direct flights between New Delhi and Colombo.

We will cooperate in developing a Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka and a Buddhist Circuit in India.

27.5 PM Modi and President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena AT signing of agreements between India and Sri La (3)

We will organize a Festival of India in Sri Lanka later this year. Sri Lanka is where Buddhism has truly flourished. We will be organizing an exhibition showcasing our Buddhist heritage as part of this festival.

The Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in youth affairs is an important long term investment in our relationship.

India is privileged to be a development partner for Sri Lanka.

We will provide a fresh Line of Credit of up to US$ 318 million for the railways sector. This will be used to procure rolling stock, and to restore and upgrade existing railway track.

We are pleased to provide assistance for the construction of the Rabindranath Tagore auditorium at Ruhuna University in Matara.

Tomorrow, I will visit, some of the projects, being financed by India, including the housing project. I am pleased that more than 27,000 houses have already been built.

27 PM Modi at Joint Press Statement WITH President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, in Colombo Sri Lanka (3)

The Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka have agreed to enter into a Currency Swap Agreement of US$ 1.5 billion. This will help keep the Sri Lankan rupee stable.

We discussed the fishermen’s issue. This complex issue involves livelihood and humanitarian concerns on both sides. We should handle it from this perspective. At the same time, we need to find a long term solution to this issue.

It is also important that fishermen`s associations of India and Sri Lanka meet at the earliest to find a mutually acceptable arrangement. It can then be taken forward by both governments.

I also took this opportunity to convey our admiration for President Srinisena`s efforts to build an inclusive future for Sri Lanka.

I conveyed our sincere support and good wishes for Sri Lanka`s new journey of peace, reconciliation and progress.

27 PM Modi at Joint Press Statement WITH President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, in Colombo Sri Lanka (1)

We stand with you in your efforts to build a future that accommodates the aspirations of all sections of society, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka.

We believe that early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it would contribute to this process.

I also conveyed India`s commitment to further strengthening our partnership in advancing peace and prosperity in our region, including our common maritime neighbourhood.

I would like to once again thank President Sirisena for the warm welcome and hospitality.

The meeting today has been very productive. It gives me great confidence and optimism about the future of our relations.

Thank you.

20 વર્ષની સેવા અને સમર્પણ દર્શાવતા 20 ચિત્રો.
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It is time to convert fintech initiatives into a fintech revolution: PM Modi
December 03, 2021
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“last year, in India, mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time”
“Transformational initiatives under Digital India have opened doors for innovative Fintech solutions to be applied in governance”
“Now it is time to convert these fintech initiatives into a fintech revolution. A revolution that helps to achieve financial empowerment of every single citizen of the country”
“Trust means that you need to ensure that the interests of people are secured. Fintech innovation will be incomplete without fintech security innovation”
“Our Digital Public Infrastructure solutions can improve the lives of citizens around the world”
“GIFT City is not merely a premise, it represents India. It represents India’s democratic values, demand, demography & diversity. It represents India’s openness to ideas, innovation & investment”
“Finance is the life blood of an economy and technology is its carrier . Both are equally important for achieving Antyodaya

Excellencies,

Distinguished colleagues,

My fellow citizens from the Tech and Finance world, Tens of thousands of Participants from over 70 countries,

Namaskar!

Friends,

I am delighted to inaugurate the first 'Infinity Forum' and welcome you all. 'Infinity Forum' represents the immense possibilities that Fintech has in India. It also shows the huge potential for India's Fintech to provide benefits to the entire world.

Friends,

The history of currency shows tremendous evolution. As humans evolved, so did the form of our transactions. From barter system to metals, from coins to notes, from cheques to cards, today we have reached here. Earlier developments used to take decades to spread across the world but not any more in this era of globalisation .Technology is bringing a big shift in the world of finance. Last year, in India, mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time. Fully digital banks, without any physical branch offices, are already a reality and may become common-place in less than a decade.

Friends,

India has proved to the world that it is second to none when it comes to adopting technology or innovating around it. Transformational initiatives under Digital India have opened doors for Fintech innovations to be applied in governance. Technology has also catalyzed financial inclusion. From less than 50% Indians having bank accounts in 2014, we have almost universalized it with 430 million Jan Dhan accounts in the last 7 years. So far, 690 million RuPay cards have been issued. RuPay cards clocked 1.3 billion transactions last year. UPI processed around 4.2 billion transactions in just last month.

Almost 300 million invoices are uploaded on the GST portal every month. More than 12 billion US dollars worth payment is done through the GST portal alone every month. Despite the pandemic, about 1.5 million railway tickets get booked online everyday. Last year, FASTag processed 1.3 billion seamless transactions. PM Svanidhi is enabling access to credit for small vendors across the country. e-RUPI has enabled targeted delivery of specified services without leakages; I can go on and on, but these are just a few examples of the scale & scope of Fintech in India.

Friends,

Financial inclusion is the driver of Fintech Revolution. Fintech is resting on 4 pillars; income, investments, insurance, and institutional credit. When income grows, investment becomes possible. Insurance coverage enables greater risk taking ability and investments. Institutional credit gives wings for expansion. And we have worked on each of these pillars. When all these factors come together, you suddenly find so many more people participating in the financial sector. The large base becomes the perfect springboard for Fintech innovations. Fintech industry in India is innovating to enhance access to finance and the formal credit system to every person in the country. Now it is time to convert these fintech initiatives into a fintech revolution. A revolution that helps to achieve financial empowerment of every single citizen of the country.

Friends,

As we see the widening reach of fintech, there are considerations that need attention. Fintech industry has achieved huge scale, and scale means people from all walks of life as customers. This fintech acceptability among the masses has a unique feature. That feature is trust. The common Indian has shown immense trust in our Fintech ecosystem by embracing digital payments and such technologies! This trust is a responsibility. Trust means that you need to ensure that the interests of people are secured. Fintech innovation will be incomplete without fintech security innovation.

Friends,

We believe in sharing our experiences and expertise with the world and learning from them as well. Our Digital Public Infrastructure solutions can improve the lives of people around the world. Tools like UPI and RuPay provide an unparalleled opportunity for every country. An opportunity to provide a low cost and reliable 'real time payment system' as well as a 'domestic card scheme' and 'fund remittance system'.

Friends,

GIFT City is not merely a premise, It represents the promise of India. It represents India's democratic values, demand, demography & diversity. It represents India's openness to ideas, innovation & investment. GIFT City is a gateway to the global fintech world. (IFSC) at GIFT City was born out of the vision that finance combined with technology would be an important part of India's future development. Our aim is to provide the best International Financial Services not just for India but for the World.

Friends,

Finance is the life blood of an economy and technology is its carrier. Both are equally important for achieving ''Antyodaya and Sarvodaya''. Our flagship Infinity Forum is part of our endeavor to bring together all key stakeholders of the global Fintech Industry to explore the limitless future of the industry. I remember the conversation I had with Mr Mike Bloomberg on this subject when we last met. And I thank the Bloomberg group for their support. Infinity forum is a forum of belief, belief in the spirit of innovation and the power of imagination. Belief in the energy of youth and their passion for change. Belief in making the world a better place. Let us together, explore and advance innovative ideas in Fintech to solve the most pressing issues emerging globally.

Thank You!