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India will grow to be among top 3 economies in 2 decades: Ambani

India will grow to be among top 3 economies in 2 decades: Ambani
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New Delhi: Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani on Tuesday said India will grow to be among the top three economies in the world in the next two decades and per capita income would more than double.

At a fireside chat with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Ambani said India's middle-class, which is about 50 per cent of the nation's total number of households, will grow three to four per cent per year.

"I firmly believe that in the next two decades, India will grow to be among the top three economies in the world," said Ambani, who heads oil-to-retail-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd.

More importantly, it will become a premier digital society, with young people driving it.

"And our per capita income will go from $1,800-2,000 per capita to $5,000 per capita," he said.

Facebook, Jio and many other companies as well as entrepreneurs in the world have a golden opportunity to be in India, and be part of the economic and social transformation that will accelerate in the coming decades, he added.

Ambani said India has faced the COVID crisis with enormous resilience and resolve.

"The sheer magnitude of COVID-19 pandemic, like everybody else in the world, did startle all of us in India. But then I think it is not in India's DNA to be deterred by a crisis," Ambani said, adding that every crisis presented an opportunity for new growth.

India is ready and pretty much on par with the world to roll out one of the largest vaccine programmes in the first half of 2021, he added.

From building a hospital dedicated to COVID-19, to producing PPEs, and from meal distribution programmes for vulnerable sections, to Jio ensuring connectivity and handling the rise in network traffic as people worked from home, Reliance and Reliance Foundation had taken a series of steps in the face of the pandemic.

"...Sometimes I wonder that if the pandemic had struck India just four or five years earlier, we would not have been in as good a shape as what we are today, with all the connectivity we have," Ambani said, lauding the Digital India vision.

It is during the pandemic that India has attracted the largest foreign direct investment in its history.

Zuckerberg said India is a very special and important country with a remarkable entrepreneurship culture, as he sought to push deeper the just-launched payments services that allow users to make payments over WhatsApp.

"We just launched WhatsApp payments in India last month -- now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp, as easily as sending a message. That was possible because of the UPI system that has been built in India," Zuckerberg said during the chat.

He said the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) makes it easy for anyone to instantly accept payments across different apps.

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