Narendra Modi in Singapore: At Fintech Festival, PM cites Aadhaar, UPI; says inclusive growth stems from digitisation in India

Delivering the keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Festival, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the inclusive growth stemming from the digitisation in India, innovation, direct benefit transfer, and the disruption that technology brought about in status quo. He was the first Head of Government to deliver the keynote address at Singapore Fintech Festival

"My government 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... With the power of fintech and the reach of digital connectivity, we have started a revolution of unprecedented scale," Modi said.

The festival drew as many as 30,000 participants from over 100 countries in 2017. The event involves a three-day conference, and exhibition of Fintech firms and capabilities, a global competition of Fintech solutions and a platform for matching entrepreneurs and investment capital.

Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at Singapore Fintech Festival. Twitter @MEAIndia

Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at Singapore Fintech Festival. Twitter @MEAIndia

Modi said the festival is a tribute to the youth of India with its eyes firmly fixed to the future. "Financial inclusion has become reality for 1.3 billion Indians. We have generated more than 1.2 billion biometric identities- Aadhaar or foundation- in just a few years," Modi said at the event.

"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 said.

Acknowledging that India is a land with a diverse set of challenges, Modi said that we must go for equally diverse yet simplistic solutions. Modi said that the RuPay card scheme has already touched several lives. He said that around 250 million of the total users opting for RuPay card did not even have a bank account until a few years ago.

Modi said that digitisation, and especially Fintech (financial technology), paved the way for inclusive development in an unprecedented way. "Financial inclusion has become a reality for 1.3 billion Indians. We have generated more than 1.2 billion biometric identities - Aadhaar or foundation - in just few years. Through Aadhaar and cellphones, we launched Jan Dhan Yojana. In three years, we have opened 330 million new bank accounts. These are 330 million sources of identity, dignity and opportunities," Modi said.

Modi also launched APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange), a global fintech platform with Deputy PM of Singapore T Shanmugaratnam after his address at the event.

"APIX will eventually connect our companies to financial institutions globally," he said. "Across the world, from the Indo-Pacific to Africa to Latin America, we see inspiring stories of extraordinary innovation changing ordinary lives. But, there is much to be done," he said.

Speaking at the world's largest event on financial technology, Modi said technology has transformed governance and delivery of public services in India and unleashed innovation, hope and opportunities.
"Technology is defining competitiveness and power in the new world and it is creating boundless opportunities to transform lives," Modi said as he began his two-day visit to the country.
"It has empowered the weak and brought into mainstream those who were on the margins. It has made economic access more democratic," he said in his keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Summit.

Praising the United Payment Interface scheme launched by his government, Modi said, "BHIM-UPI is the world’s most sophisticated, simple and seamless platform for payments between accounts, using a virtual payment address. For those who have a mobile, but no internet, there is Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) system in 12 languages. And for those who don't even own a mobile, we have Aadhaar-linked payment interface that uses biometric details to facilitate a transaction."

Inviting Fintech firms to invest in India, Modi said that the unprecedented rise of digitisation in India shows that "India is your best destination."

"There is an explosion of finch innovation and enterprise in India. It has turned India into a leading finch and Startup nation in the world. The Future of fintech and Industry 4.0 is emerging in India," Modi said. He said, "The India story shows six benefits of Fintech: Access, Inclusion, Connectivity, Ease of Living, Opportunity, and Accountability.

The prime minister also highlighted how Fintech has helped fix accountability, removed red tapism and middlemen, and prevents leakages of public funds.

"Digital technology is also introducing transparency and eliminating corruption through innovation such as the Government e Marketplace," Modi said adding that Fintech can be used to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes.

He said that the digitisation of financial institutions has helped create historic opportunities for inclusive development.

"At no time in history were we blessed with so many possibilities: To make opportunities and prosperity a reality in a lifetime for billions, To make the world more humane and equal between rich and poor, between cities and villages, and between hopes and achievements," the prime minister concluded.

Modi arrived in Singapore on Wednesday morning as he thanked the Indian community in Singapore for according him a "warm welcome amidst the rain". The prime minister has a packed schedule through the day. After the keynote address, the prime minister will have a number of high-profile multilateral and bilateral meetings with global leaders including US vice-president Mike 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 White House said.

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Updated Date: Nov 14, 2018 10:34:27 IST

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