The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the second edition of Infinity Forum, a global thought leadership platform on FinTech via video conferencing today. The 2nd Edition of Infinity Forum is being jointly organized by the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), and GIFT City, under the aegis of the Government of India, as a precursor event to Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024. The theme of the 2nd edition of Infinity Forum is ‘GIFT-IFSC: Nerve Centre for New Age Global Financial Services’
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled the pandemic-affected world marred by the uncertainty of the global economic situation during the organization of the first edition of the Infinity Forum in December 2021. Underlining that the worrisome situation has not yet passed completely, and mentioning the challenges of geopolitical tensions, high inflation and rising debt levels, the Prime Minister highlighted India’s emergence as a symbol of resilience and progress. In such a situation, the Prime Minister stated that the organization of such an event in the GIFT City is taking the pride of Gujarat to new heights. The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to congratulate the people of Gujarat on the inclusion of ‘Garba’ under the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage tag. “Gujarat’s success is nation’s success”, he remarked.
Prime Minister Modi reiterated that India’s growth story is based on the government’s top priority to policy, good governance and the welfare of the citizens. He informed that India’s growth rate during the first six months of the Fiscal Year has been 7.7 percent. As mentioned by the IMF in September 2023, the Prime Minister highlighted India’s contribution to the global growth rate of 16 percent in the year 2023. He also quoted the World Bank and said, “Amid the global challenges, there are high hopes with the Indian Economy.” Shri Modi also acknowledged the Australian Prime Minister’s statement about India being primed to lead the Global South. He highlighted the World Economic Forum’s observation about the reduction of red tapeism in India creating better investment opportunities. The Prime Minister underlined that India being a ray of hope for the world is a result of its strengthening economy and the transformative reforms of the past 10 years. He credited India’s focus on long-term growth and economic capacity expansion at a time when the rest of the world focused on fiscal and monetary relief.
Emphasizing the goal of increasing integration with the global economy, the Prime Minister listed down the achievements of flexible FDI policy in many sectors, reduction in compliance burden, and mentioned the signing of 3 FTAs today. He said that GIFT IFSCA is part of a larger reform to integrate Indian and global financial markets. “GIFT City is envisioned as a dynamic ecosystem that will redefine the landscape of international finance”, Shri Modi remarked as he underlined that it will set new benchmarks of innovation, efficiency and global collaboration. He noted the important landmark of the establishment of the International Financial Services Centers Authority as a Unified Regulator in 2020. He informed that IFSCA has created 27 regulations and more than 10 frameworks opening up new avenues of investment during this period of economic turmoil. PM Modi expressed delight in mentioning that the suggestions received during the first edition of Infinity Forum have been initiated giving the example of Comprehensive Framework to Govern Fund Management Activities as notified by IFSCA in April 2022. The Prime Minister informed that 80 fund management entities are registered with IFSCA today which have set up funds worth more than 24 billion dollars, and 2 leading international universities have received approval to start their courses in GIFT IFSC in 2024. He also touched upon the Framework for Aircraft Leasing released by IFSCA in May 2022, where 26 units have started operations as of today.
Speaking about expanding the scope of IFSCA, the Prime Minister reiterated the government’s efforts to take GIFT IFSCA beyond traditional finance and ventures. “We want to make GIFT City the Global Nerve Center of New Age Global Financial and Technology Services”, Shri Modi said as he expressed confidence that the products and services provided by GIFT City will help solve the challenges facing the world and the stakeholders will have a huge role to play.
Prime Minister Modi drew attention to the monumental challenge of climate change and underlined India’s concerns, being one of the largest economies in the world. He informed about India’s commitment during the recent COP28 Summit and said that adequate availability of cost-effective finance must be ensured to achieve the global targets of India and the world. He reiterated the need to understand the need for sustainable finance to ensure global growth and stability, which was one of the priority areas during the G20 presidency. He said that it would promote the transition towards greener, more resilient and more inclusive societies and economies. According to some estimates, the Prime Minister said, India will also need at least 10 trillion dollars, where a certain amount of this investment will also have to be financed through global sources, to achieve the net zero target by 2070. He emphasized making IFSC a global hub of Sustainable Finance. “GIFT IFSC is an efficient channel for the necessary Green Capital Flow to make India a Low Carbon Economy. Development of financial products like Green Bonds, Sustainable Bonds, and Sustainability Linked Bonds will make the path of the whole world easier”, he said. He also informed about the ‘Global Green Credit Initiative’ by India as a pro-planet initiative in COP28. Shri Modi urged the industry leaders to put forward their ideas on developing a market mechanism for green credit.
“India is one of the fastest growing Fintech markets in the world today”, the Prime Minister said as he noted that India’s strength in Fintech is aligned with the vision of GIFT IFSC, and as a result, it is fast becoming an emerging hub of Fin-Tech. The Prime Minister listed the achievements of IFSCA releasing a Progressive Regulatory Framework for Fintech in 2022, and IFSCA’s Fintech Incentive Scheme which provides grants to Indian and foreign Fintechs to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. The Prime Minister said that GIFT City has the potential to become the Gateway to the Global FinTech World and a Fintech Laboratory for the world. He also urged the investors to take maximum advantage of it.
Throwing light on GIFT-IFSC becoming a prominent gateway to the flow of global capital, the Prime Minister explained the concept of ‘tri-city’ i.e. located between the historic city of Ahmedabad and the capital Gandhinagar giving it exceptional connectivity. “GIFT IFSC’s cutting-edge digital infrastructure provides a platform that enables businesses to increase efficiency”, he remarked. The Prime Minister further added that GIFT IFSC has emerged as a magnet that attracts the brightest minds of the financial and technology world. He informed that today, IFSC houses 58 operational entities, 3 exchanges, including International Bullion Exchange, 25 banks, including 9 foreign banks, 29 insurance entities, 2 foreign universities, 50 plus professional services providers including consulting firms, law firms and CA firms. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that GIFT City will be one of the best International Financial Centers in the world in the next few years.
“India is a country with deep democratic values and a historical tradition of trade and commerce”, the Prime Minister underlined. Noting the existence of a diverse range of opportunities for every investor or company in India, the Prime Minister said that India’s vision regarding GIFT is linked to India’s growth story. Giving examples, the Prime Minister mentioned daily air traffic of 4 lakh air passengers, increase in the number of passenger aircraft from 400 in 2014 to more than 700 today, and the number of airports in India doubling in the last 9 years. “Our airlines are going to buy about 1000 aircraft in the coming years”, the Prime Minister informed as he highlighted various facilities provided by GIFT City to aircraft lessors. He also mentioned IFSCA’s Ship Leasing framework, large pool of IT talent, data protection laws and GIFT’s Data Embassy initiative providing secure facilities for digital continuity to all countries and businesses. “Thanks to India’s young talent, we have become the base for global capability centers of all big companies”, he added.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister stated that India will become the world’s third-largest economy in the next few years and a developed country by 2047. He emphasized the role of new forms of capital, digital technologies and new-age financial services in this journey. He said GIFT City is creating unmatched opportunities with its efficient regulations, plug-and-play infrastructure, access to the large Indian hinterland economy, beneficial cost of operations and talent advantage. “Let us move forward together with GIFT IFSC towards fulfilling global dreams. Vibrant Gujarat Summit is also going to be held very soon”, he said inviting all the investors. “Let us together explore and pursue innovative ideas to find solutions to the world’s serious issues”, Shri Modi concluded.
The 2nd Edition of Infinity Forum is being jointly organized by the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), and GIFT City, under the aegis of the Government of India, as a precursor event to Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024. The forum provides a platform, where progressive ideas, pressing problems, and innovative technologies from across the world get discovered, discussed and developed into solutions and opportunities.
The theme of the 2nd edition of Infinity Forum is ‘GIFT-IFSC: Nerve Centre for New Age Global Financial Services’, which will be dovetailed through the following three tracks:
Plenary Track: Making of a New Age International Financial Centre
Green Track: Making a case for a “Green Stack”
Silver Track: Longevity Finance Hub at GIFT IFSC
Each track will comprise an Infinity Talk by a senior industry leader and a discussion by a panel of industry experts and practitioners from the financial sector in India and across the globe, providing practical insights and implementable solutions.
The Forum will witness the participation of 300+ CXOs with strong online participation from India and a global audience across 20+ countries including the USA, UK, Singapore, South Africa, UAE, Australia and Germany. The event will also be attended by Vice-Chancellors from foreign universities and representatives of foreign embassies.