Bill Gates: India has potential for very rapid economic growth, can lift people out of poverty

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.

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 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,” he said.

On Friday, 64-year-old Gates, with a net worth of USD 110 billion, regained the position of the world’s richest person surpassing 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.

“… Everybody hopes that there’s really good growth because the potential is certainly there for India to have high growth,” he said.

Gates is currently on a three-day visit to India to review the work of his foundation in the country.

India’s economic growth slumped to an over six-year low of 5 per cent in the first quarter ending June this fiscal due to slower consumer demand and private investment.