Addressing the BRICS Outreach Session in Johannesburg, Prime Minister Modi called for more investment in the digital infrastructure and skill development in the area of digitisation. “Today we are once again at the historic turning point. Thanks to digital revolution, new opportunities are emerging for us and that is the reason why it is necessary that we be completely ready for the changes that will come out through AI and big data analytics,” he said.
Emphasising on India’s historic and deep links with Africa, the Prime Minister said his government has accorded the highest priority towards maintaining peace, freedom and development in Africa. India’s ties with Africa are time-tested and the Government of India has deepened its engagement with the continent he said. “Economic and development cooperation between India and Africa have touched new heights,” Prime Minister Modi said at the meeting, also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Michel Temer.
The prime minister said in the last four years, more the 100 bilateral talks and visits at the level of head of states and government have taken place which has taken bilateral cooperation and economic ties to a new level. He said 118 lines of credit worth USD 11 billion have been extended to over 40 African countries. He said that India welcomes the effort for regional economic integration by the countries in Africa.
He said free trade and commerce in the last three decades has helped hundreds of millions people come out of poverty. To take the benefits of globalisation to them is the most important task, he said. Highlighting the challenges of globalisation, he said that inclusive development must remain at the core of all efforts. He said after the financial crisis of 2008, the threats of protectionism are hovering over this fundamental aspect of the globalisation.
“The most profound effect of decrease in growth rate has been felt by countries such as ours who could not gain from the industrial progress made during the colonial time,” the prime minister said. He said India will continue to share its experiences and learning under the South-South co-operation.
Prime Minister said that while addressing Uganda’s Parliament this week he had outlined the 10 principles for India’s engagement with African nations. These 10 principles, he said, formulated as per the needs of Africa are the guidelines for the development and strengthening of India’s ties with the continent. He also noted that African students come to India to study and also receive Indian scholarships.