Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), has urged world leaders of the G20 nations to invest in developing digital infrastructure in order to ensure internet for all.
During his address to a distinguished group at the B20–G20 session at the ongoing G20 Summit in Turkey, he said internet can become the cornerstone of a more inclusive global economic growth.
Mittal underlined the urgent need to bridge the global digital divide and provide easy and affordable access to Information Communication Technologies to millions across the world.
He said, “If we want to help people feed, heal, educate and employ themselves, we need to ensure they can connect to the internet. The challenge of connecting the world will require us to take many different and complimentary actions in the coming years.”
He also stressed the need to support the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which generate 60% of the world’s private sector employment.
“Globally, 95% of the enterprises are SMEs and these should be at the core of the global growth strategy outlined by the G20 nations. The SMEs can become a major source of employment opportunities for youth and support a more inclusive economic growth,” Mittal said.
He stressed on the need to bring more women and youth into the mainstream economic growth to ensure balanced growth within economies. Skilling and education infrastructure must be developed through enhanced public-private partnerships to ensure a viable talent pool for SMEs.
“The global economy is facing considerable headwinds and the unemployment rate amongst youth across the world is at a high of 13%. We must create meaningful opportunities for the young people to avoid social unrest.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, who is attending the G20 Summit, has outlined ‘Digital India’ as one of the key priorities for his Government.