In a significant move towards fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing within the startup ecosystem, India has announced its plans to initiate the BRICS Startup Forum in 2023. The announcement was made by Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, during the virtual 7th BRICS Industry Ministers’ meeting, which South Africa hosted, the current Chair of the BRICS group.
Minister Goyal underscored the remarkable transformation that India has undergone in recent years and highlighted the success of the expanding Startup India initiative. This initiative has played a pivotal role in nurturing the growth of startups, resulting in the establishment of nearly 100,000 startups across the country.
One of the key focuses of the BRICS Startup Forum will be on "Transforming Production Systems." Minister Goyal emphasized India's commitment to sharing its expertise and resources with other BRICS members and the global community. This initiative aligns with India's philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (‘The World Is One Family’), which reflects the nation's dedication to being a responsible global citizen and contributing to a more inclusive, tolerant, and interconnected world.
The virtual meeting saw the participation of industry ministers from other BRICS countries, including Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa. Together, they adopted a joint declaration that emphasized several crucial aspects for the growth and development of BRICS nations.
Digitalization, industrialization, innovation, inclusiveness, and investment were identified as key pillars for the growth of BRICS countries. The ministers acknowledged the significance of Industry 4.0 and emerging technologies in driving digital transformation across various economic sectors. They also recognized the need for human resource development and pledged to explore opportunities for collaboration in upskilling and reskilling programs.
The BRICS ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening industrial cooperation and expediting the recovery and growth of the industrial economy. They aimed to create an open, fair, vibrant, resilient, and non-discriminatory environment for industrial growth.
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were acknowledged for their pivotal role, with an emphasis on integrating and diversifying these enterprises into global industrial, supply, and value chains. The ministers stressed the importance of creating market opportunities within the BRICS countries, particularly for projects owned or managed by women, youth, and disadvantaged groups.
The launch of the BRICS Startup Forum signifies a significant step towards fostering collaboration, innovation, and economic growth among the BRICS nations. As these countries continue to focus on digitalization, innovation, and inclusive growth, the future holds the promise of a more interconnected and resilient global economy.