Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that the indigenously CoWin application has helped the country fight the coronavirus pandemic, as he invited global tech houses to invest in India. Modi, who virtual delivered the keynote address at the fifth edition of ‘VivaTech’, said India and France have been working closely on a wide range of subjects, among which technology and digital are emerging areas of cooperation.
He said India offers what innovators and investors need. “I invite the world to invest in India based on the five pillars of — Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and Culture of openness," Modi said.
Stating that India’s strides in the world of tech and start-up are well-known, he said the country is home to one of the world’s largest start-up eco systems and several unicorns have come up in recent years. “Role of startups in India is paramount. India’s biometeric system helped poor in receiving food. Where convention fails, innovation can help. This has been seen during the COVID-19 global pandemic, which is the biggest disruption of our age," Modi said, adding, “"We will be better prepared for next challenges. We have invited the world to invest in India."
He called for focus on ‘repair and prepare’ as the nation emerged out of a devastating pandemic. “Over the past year, we have witnessed a lot of disruption in different sectors. Much of it is still there. Yet, disruption does not have to mean despair," he said. “Instead, we must keep the focus on the twin foundations of repair and prepare," he said referring to the need to augment healthcare infrastructure in the country as well as prop up the economy. The Indian economy suffered its worst contraction in decades in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, as the pandemic-induced lockdown impaired economic activity.
The government, however, continued with the reforms that would help sustain higher growth rates after the world emerges from the pandemic. India implemented huge reforms across sectors - from mining to space, from banking to atomic energy, he said. “This goes on to show that India as a nation is adaptable and agile, even in the middle of the pandemic."
Other prominent speakers at the event include French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Snchez and ministers and MPs from various European countries.
The event will also witness the participation of corporate bigwigs like Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, and Brad Smith, president, Microsoft, among others.
Earlier, Modi had said in a tweet, “Tomorrow evening will be addressing @VivaTech via video conferencing. Through this forum, will be speaking about India’s strides in the world of tech and start-ups."
VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events in Europe, and it is held in Paris every year since 2016, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) noted. It is jointly organised by Publicis Groupe, a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate, and Les Echos,a leading French media group.
(With PTI inputs)