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Excellencies,

• I am very grateful to you all for sharing your thoughts. All the issues raised today are of interest to all of us.

• Your remarks give me a much better flavour of your perceptions and priorities.

• India has always been keen to work closely with you to advance your development priorities.

• India wishes to be a close partner of the Pacific Islands.

• I would wish to announce a number of measures to strengthen this partnership.

1. Setting up of a Special Adaptation Fund of $ 1 million:

• Climate change is a major issue of concern for Pacific Island Countries.

• By setting up this Fund, India would be happy to provide technical assistance and training for capacity building to our Pacific Island Partners.

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2. Pan Pacific Islands Project:

• Given the distance between the islands and poor connectivity, e-networks are an effective means for coordination.

• In keeping with the success achieved in the pan-Africa Project, we propose to develop Pan Pacific Islands Project for telemedicine and tele-education.

• We are also working on a solar energy project with the Pacific Islands at the community level. The regional hubs will be developed in the Pacific Islands.

3. Indian Visa on arrival all the fourteen Pacific Island Countries:

• I have noticed the inconvenience in travel due to Visa issues.

• I would wish to provide Visa on Arrival for nationals of all Pacific Island countries, Cook Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Niue, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

• I am confident that this will facilitate exchanges and promote better understanding between our peoples.

4. Increase in Grant-in-Aid to Pacific Island Countries:

• Currently, we provide Grant in Aid of 125 thousand US Dollars annually to each Pacific Island Country for community projects selected by you.

• I am happy to announce that we are increasing this aid to $ 200,000 annually. This would be rolled over annually.

5. Establish Trade Office in India:

• This has been a long time request from you to promote trade between India and Pacific Island Countries.

• We are ready to support the setting up of a Trade Office at an existing diplomatic representation in New Delhi.

• We shall also provide complimentary space to Pacific Island countries during exhibitions organised by ITPO to showcase your products.

• We need to find complementarities in our trade. India could be important source of low cost medicines. 

• We can do joint research in traditional medicine. Explore options of developing healthcare facilities for the benefit of people in the region. 

6. Deputation of ITEC experts:

• We will continue to share our experience and expertise with allof you.

• In this context, I propose that we shall depute technical experts to your countries including in the fields of agriculture, healthcare and IT.

7. Training to Diplomats from Pacific Island Countries:

• We shall be happy to expand our efforts for your diplomats. 

• In this context, Foreign Service Training Institutes will organise training programmes to the Diplomats of Pacific Island countries. These would be held here and in India.

8. Distinguished Visitors Programme:

• I propose to commence a Distinguished Visitors Programme.

• Under this we can organise seminars and invite friends from the region. This would help to explore new ideas for strengthening our mutually beneficially economic cooperation.

9. Space Cooperation:

• We propose cooperation in use of Space technology applications for improving the quality of life of our people and communications.

• We can look at possibilities of sharing data that could be used for monitoring climate change, disaster risk reduction and management, resource management.

10. Forum of India-Pacific Island Cooperation: • Lastly, given the response I have received today, I propose that a Forum for India – Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) be held on a regular basis. The next meeting can be held in 2015 in one of the coastal location in India.

Excellencies,

• I thank you once again for your kind presence today. I look forward to seeing you in India next year. 

Thank you.

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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!