Addressing the 22nd regional summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that he wanted better connectivity within the regional grouping as there was a global food and energy crisis after global supply chains were affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. During his 5-minute speech, Modi talked about India's innovation and start-up models and said India can be transformed into a manufacturing hub.
“The world is overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Several disruptions occurred in the global supply chain because of the COVID and Ukraine crises. We want to transform India into a manufacturing hub,” said PM Narendra Modi at the SCO Summit in Samarkand.
He added that India houses around 70,000 start-ups and over 100 unicorns, which are spread across different sectors. “We are focusing on a people-centric development model. We are supporting innovation in every sector. Today, there are more than 70,000 start-ups and over 100 unicorns in our country."
Pressing on regional cooperation for business, and strengthening supply chains, Modi said all the countries in the forum can play a constructive role in the post-Covid era, particularly in furthering economic recovery and strengthening supply chains.
"The SCO needs to focus on bringing diversified and resilient supply chains...for this, better connectivity and access to transit is required," PM Modi said, adding that India supports mutual trust and cooperation among SCO countries.
He also said India's economy is expected to grow at 7.5 per cent this year, "which will be highest among the world's major economies".
Talking about excepting traditional medicines for mainstream treatment, Modi highlighted that the World Health Organisation has recently inaugurated a global centre for traditional medicines, and India would take the same initiative to all SCO member states. "In April 2022, WHO inaugurated its Global Centre for Traditional Medicines in Gujarat. This was the first and only global center by WHO for traditional treatment. India will take an initiative for a new SCO working group on traditional medicines."
On tackling the challenges of food security, he spoke of India's efforts to encourage the farming and consumption of millet as a traditional, nutritious, and budget-friendly alternative. "Millet is a superfood that has been grown in not just SCO states, but various parts of the world, for thousands of years," he said.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi started his day with a group photo with Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and leaders of the other member states of the SCO. It is for the first time that PM Modi and the Chinese premier came face-to-face since the start of the military standoff in Ladakh in 2020.
Earlier, Jinping extended his support to India for its SCO presidency next year. "We will support India for its presidency next year," he said at the ongoing SCO summit in Samarkand. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Over the years, it has emerged as one of the largest trans-regional international organisations.
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