New Delhi: India has the potential for ‘very rapid’ economic growth over the next decade which will lift people out of poverty and allow the government to invest in health and education priorities in an ‘exciting way’, billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said.
In an exclusive interview to this agency, Bill Gates, the world’s richest person, specifically complimented India’s ‘Aadhaar’ identity system and the country’s performance in the financial services and pharma sectors.
The positive outlook by Bill Gates for the Indian economy comes at a time when it is reeling under major slowdown amid apprehensions that the cycle may last for a longer period.
“I don’t have any knowledge about the near term, but I’d say over the next decade, there’s potential for very rapid growth, which will lift people out of poverty and allow the government to invest in health and education priorities in a really exciting way,” said Bates.
“… Everybody hopes that there’s really good growth because the potential is certainly there for India to have high growth,” added Gates.
Microsoft co-owner Gates is currently on a three-day visit to India to review the work of his foundation in the country. He hailed India’s Aadhaar implementation as well as adoption of the UPI system.
“Well, in all of our areas, India’s been a key place where we find innovators and financial services. It’s fantastic the way that the Aadhaar identity system and the overall UPI system are gaining adoption, and there’s some great lessons out of that work,” Gates pointed out.
“We partner with people like Nandan Nilekani to think, okay, how do the lessons from India apply to other countries for things like digital identity or financial services,” added the philanthropist.
Gates also complimented India’s pioneering work in vaccine manufacturing. He said that the country has made impactful contribution in improving peoples’ lives.
“When people think of India, they think of the IT services and the great work done there. Less visible but certainly very impactful for improving the human condition is the great work done by the vaccine manufacturers, whether it’s Serum, who’s the largest, but a dozen others – Bharat Biotech, Bio-E, a number of companies,” Gates stated.
“It’s incredible that about half of the (vaccine) units – not only in the dollar volume, but the unit volume – come out of India, and that’s really helping us get the vaccines out to more and more children, because the manufacturing is done in a very efficient way,” asserted Gates.
“And so, in some ways, India can look at that, as it has goals to do broader manufacturing, like, okay, what was done in this vaccine area that is allowed it to be the world leader,” he added.
In the last one decade, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been working in areas of health-care, sanitation, agriculture and financial services for the underprivileged people in India.
It should be stated here that Friday, the 64-year-old Gates, with a net worth of USD 110 billion, regained the position of the world’s richest person surpassing the Amazon Inc’s Jeff Bezos. The Microsoft co-founder has so far donated over USD 35 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for poverty reduction and social development programmes in various countries.