‘There is no doubt that in the coming years, India will be the growth engine of the world’. The remark was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS Business Forum Leaders’ Dialogue in Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 22. Shedding light on the reforms his government has taken, PM Modi said, “India has transformed times of adversity and challenges into an opportunity for economic reforms.”
The year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRICS Business Council, which has played an instrumental role in enhancing economic cooperation among the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).
While addressing, PM Modi noted the reforms his government has taken in “mission mode,” which have led to an improvement in the ease of doing business in India. He highlighted steps such as reducing compliance burden, implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, among others.
He asserted that India is “replacing red tape with a red carpet” and that soon, India will become a five trillion-dollar economy.
He spoke about how the use of technology has made a significant leap in financial inclusion. The direct benefit transfers have led to the distribution of over USD 360 billion to millions of people.
PM Modi mentioned that countries like the UAE, Singapore, and France have joined the UPI platform, and there are numerous possibilities to work on this with BRICS countries. The Prime Minister noted that COVID has highlighted the importance of resilient and inclusive supply chains and emphasised the importance of mutual trust and transparency in this regard. He also stressed that together, the BRICS can contribute significantly to global welfare, particularly of the Global South.
In his virtual address, Russian President Putin spoke of encouraging trade in local currencies within the BRICS. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the expansion of BRICS and how the influence of this grouping was growing globally.