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| 11 February, 2018

"Progress does not wait for anyone," India's Modi tells Dubai's World Government Summit

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he speaks during the Opening Plenary during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2018.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he speaks during the Opening Plenary during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2018.

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
India missed out on the industrial revolution but new technological advances will help it catch up with developed nations, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday in a speech at this year’s World Government Summit in Dubai.

“Our dream of new India will be realised by innovating new technology by the youth. By 2022 we have set ourselves a goal of doubling farming income,” Modi told delegates.

“India has missed out on the industrial revolution, but now we are re-evolving through technology. Today, there are major challenges… poverty, unemployment, education and housing… we can beat them all through development and that is what my government is working on through technology.

“Technology had dramatically shifted the lives of human beings towards the better and increased the quality of life to a very high stage.

“We need to work together to face poverty and disease around the world and use technology for development… Progress does not wait for anyone,” he added.

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Modi’s stance on technology was shared by Mohammad Al Gergawi, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister for Cabinet Affairs and the Future, who went as far as to say big data is the “oil of the future”, according to a report by Arab News.

“By 2045, we will be able to transfer and upload the contents of the human mind to a data centre. Governments must be prepared for these coming changes. The aim of this summit is to find answers and set priorities to meet these challenges and opportunities,” Al Gergawi was reported as saying at the summit in Dubai.

While technology may be a catalyst, economies are still susceptible to sharp swings in global financial markets, as seen in recent days when global stock markets were hit by wild fluctuations.

However, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, told delegates at the summit she was not worried as economic growth was still strong.

"I'm reasonably optimistic because of the landscape we have at the moment. But we cannot sit back and wait for growth to continue as normal," she said.

Further reading on the World Government Summit:

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Shane McGinley)
(yasmine.saleh@thomsonreuters.com)

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