At the prestigious Fintech Festival in Singapore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched India as the as the "best" investment destination for tech firms and said financial inclusion had become a reality for 1.3 billion Indians with the government launching a number of people-friendly digital platforms.
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. It has empowered the weak and brought into mainstream those who were on the margins. It has made economic access more democratic," Modi said in his keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Summit.
Modi said the festival was an acknowledgment of the financial revolution sweeping through India.
"This is an event of finance and technology and, it is also a festival. It is also a celebration 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," Modi said.
The festival, which is in its third year, had drawn as many as 30,000 participants from over 100 countries in 2017. The event involves a three-day conference, an exhibition of Fintech firms and capabilities, a global competition of Fintech solutions and a platform for matching entrepreneurs and investment capital.
"Financial inclusion has become reality for 1.3 billion Indians," 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."
He said India is a nation of diverse circumstances and challenges. "Our solutions must also be diverse. Digitisation is a success because our payment products cater to everyone," he said. "The Indian story shows six great benefits of fintech - access, inclusion; connectivity; ease of living; opportunity; and, accountability," the prime minister said.
The enormous talent pool in India benefits from the ecosystem created by initiatives such as Digital India and Startup India, and by supportive policies, incentives and funding programmes, Modi said. "It also helps that India has the largest data consumption in the world and the cheapest rates for data. And one of the top nations in fintech adoption. So, I say this to all the fintech companies and startups - India is your best destination."
Modi also launched APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange), a global fintech platform with Deputy PM of Singapore T Shanmugaratnam at the event. "APIX will eventually connect our companies to financial institutions globally," he said.
"Just as India will learn from others, we will share our experience and expertise with the world. Because, what drives India also holds hope for others. And, what we dream for India is what we also wish for the world. This is a common journey for all," Modi said.