BRICS summit at South Africa
PM Modi spoke at the BRICS Business Forum Leaders’ Dialogue at Johannesburg on August 22. Photo: @MEAIndia / Twitter

BRICS: India poised to become world’s growth engine, says PM Modi

Modi said ‘mission-mode’ reforms have improved the ease of doing business in India and invited businesses to be part of the country's development journey

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (August 22) said India would soon become a USD 5 trillion economy and is poised to become the growth engine of the world in the coming years.

Speaking at the BRICS Business Forum Leaders' Dialogue, Modi highlighted that "mission-mode" reforms have improved the ease of doing business in India and invited businesses to be part of the country's development journey.

While mentioning the strides made by India on the digital payments front, Modi said there are many possibilities for using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for BRICS.

He also said that Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) together could contribute significantly to global welfare, particularly of the Global South.

The prime minister, who is in South Africa to participate in the first in-person summit of BRICS nations since 2019, told the gathering that despite the turmoil in the global economy, India today is the fastest growing major economy in the world.

"Soon, India will become a USD 5 trillion economy. There is no doubt that India will be the growth engine of the world in the years to come," Modi said, and added that the country converted disasters and hardships into opportunities for economic recovery.

‘India rolling out red carpet by removing red tape’

Highlighting the reforms undertaken, including technology-based solutions to address the social and economic challenges, as well as the efforts to reduce the compliance burden, Modi said India is now rolling out the red carpet by removing the red tape.

“Investor confidence has increased due to the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code,” the prime minister said, and asserted that the people of India have taken a pledge to become a developed nation by 2047.

Inviting businesses to join India's development journey, Modi said New Delhi has opened up sectors like defence and space for private investments, and that the manufacturing sector is becoming competitive due to reduction in logistics cost.

Further, the prime minister said his government was taking steps to make India a global manufacturing hub in areas like solar energy, wind energy, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, and green ammonia.

"It is natural that this will create a big market for renewable technology in India," he said.

With the use of technology, Modi said India has taken a giant leap towards financial inclusion, and rural women have benefited the most. Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) worth more than USD 360 billion have been done, resulting in increased transparency in service delivery, and reducing corruption and middlemen, he said.

Referring to the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) platform, Modi said it is used in India from street vendors to big shopping malls.

“Countries like UAE, Singapore, and France are joining the UPI platform, and there are many possibilities of working on this with BRICS countries as well,” Modi said. “Large scale investments are being made in infrastructure that will lay a strong foundation for a new India of the future.”

Modi attends BRICS Leaders' Retreat

PM Modi on Tuesday (August 22) attended the BRICS Leaders’ Retreat and deliberated on global developments with other leaders of the five-member bloc.

Modi arrived in Johannesburg on Tuesday (August 22) on a four-day visit to South Africa and Greece. In South Africa, he will attend the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg from August 22-24 at the invitation of the country’s President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Reinforcing the intra-BRICS bonds! PM @narendramodi arrives at the Summer Place to participate in the BRICS Leaders Retreat. Warmly greeted by the host, President @CyrilRamaphosa of South Africa," Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

"PM, along with other BRICS leaders, will deliberate on global developments and leveraging the BRICS platform to find solutions to global challenges," he said.

Modi viewed a model of the under-construction Swaminarayan Temple in Johannesburg before taking part in the BRICS Business Forum Leaders' Dialogue.

BRICS grouping comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Xi’s no-show at BRICS Business Forum

Meanwhile, media reports from Johannesburg said Chinese President Xi Jinping failed to show up at the BRICS Business Forum on Tuesday (August 22) in South Africa, where he was expected to deliver a speech alongside his counterparts.

In his place, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao read the speech that criticised the US over its tendency towards “hegemony”. Xi, in the speech read by Wang at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, said the US tended to fight countries that threaten its dominance in global affairs and financial markets.

The speech said that every country has a right to development and that people should have the freedom to pursue a happy life. But one country is “obsessed with maintaining hegemony, has gone out of its way to cripple the emerging markets and developing countries”, he said in a veiled swipe at the US.

“Whoever develops first becomes their target of containment. Whoever is catching up becomes its target of obstruction,” Xi added.

Although he had arrived in South Africa on Monday evening (August 21), Xi skipped the business forum and no explanation was given, the report said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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