Leaders of the BRICS business community,
I am pleased that as soon as we set foot on the land of South Africa, the beginning of our program is being made through the BRICS Business Forum.
First of all, I would like to thank President Ramaphosa for his invitation and for organizing this meeting.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the BRICS Business Council, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes.
Over the past ten years, the BRICS Business Council has played a very important role in enhancing our economic cooperation.
When the first BRICS summit was held in 2009, the world was coming out of a major economic crisis.
At that time, BRICS was seen as a ray of hope for the global economy.
In the present time as well, amid the COVID pandemic, tensions, and conflicts, the world is grappling with economic challenges.
In such times, the BRICS nations once again have a significant role to play.
Despite the turmoil in the global economy, India is currently the fastest-growing major economy in the world.
Soon, India will become a five trillion-dollar economy.
There is no doubt that in the coming years, India will be the Growth Engine of the world.
This is because India has transformed times of adversity and challenges into an opportunity for economic reforms.
In the past few years, the reforms we have undertaken in mission mode have led to consistent improvement in the ease of doing business in India.
We have reduced the compliance burden.
We are replacing red tape with a red carpet.
The implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has boosted investor confidence.
Sectors such as defense and space, which were previously restricted, have now been opened up for the private sector.
We have particularly focused on public service delivery and good governance.
Through the use of technology, India has made a significant leap in financial inclusion.
The greatest benefit of this has been received by our rural women.
Today, millions of people in India receive Direct Benefit Transfers with just a click.
Over 360 billion dollars worth of such transfers have been made so far.
This has increased transparency in service delivery, reduced corruption, and minimized middlemen.
India has the most affordable per gigabyte data prices.
Today, from street vendors to large shopping malls, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is used for transactions.
Today, India stands as the country with the highest number of digital transactions in the world.
Countries like the UAE, Singapore, and France are also joining this platform.
There are numerous possibilities to work on this with BRICS countries as well.
The large scale investments being made in India's infrastructure are changing the country's landscape.
In this year's budget, we have allocated around 120 billion dollars for infrastructure.
Through this investment, we are laying a strong foundation for a new India of the future.
Transformations are taking place rapidly in rail, road, waterways, and airways.
New highways are being built in India at a pace of ten thousand kilometers per year.
The number of airports has doubled in the last 9 years.
To boost investment and production, we have introduced the Production Linked Incentives scheme.
The reduction in logistics costs is making India's manufacturing sector more competitive.
In the field of renewable energy, India is one of the world leaders.
We are actively taking steps to make India a global manufacturing hub in sectors such as solar energy, wind energy, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, and green ammonia.
It is natural that this will create a substantial market for renewable technology in India.
Today, India has the world's third-largest startup ecosystem.
There are more than a hundred unicorns in India.
In sectors like IT, Telecom, FinTech, AI, and semiconductors, we are promoting the vision of "Make in India, Make for the World."
All these efforts have had a direct positive impact on the lives of the common people.
Over the past nine years, there has been a nearly threefold increase in people's incomes.
Women have been a significant contributor to India's economic development.
From IT to space, banking to healthcare, women are contributing shoulder-to-shoulder with men towards the progress of the nation.
The people of India have pledged to build a developed nation by 2047.
I invite all of you to be a part of India's journey of development.
The COVID pandemic has taught us the importance of resilient and inclusive supply chains.
Mutual trust and transparency are crucial for this.
By combining each other's strengths, we can contribute significantly to the well-being of the entire world, especially the Global South.
Once again, I extend my congratulations to the leaders of the BRICS business community for their contributions.
I also express my gratitude to my friend President Ramaphosa for hosting this outstanding event.