India aspires to become the largest startup ecosystem in the world, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said. Addressing a session on "Gateway to Growth - Roundtable on Indian Startup Ecosystem" in Abu Dhabi, he said: "Today we are the third largest startup ecosystem, but our aspiration is to be the world's number one startup destination," as per an official statement. "The startup bug has caught India's imagination. The entire innovation ecosystem that the startup industry represents is giving a new direction, new momentum to India," he said, as per the Commerce and Industry Ministry statement. According to Goyal, India offers one of the best ecosystems for startups with a special 'jugalbandi', or blend between investors and entrepreneurs to get a balanced outcome and achieve a win-win solution for all. "I have seen tremendous response from the Dubai Expo where our startups have got the opportunity to raise finances, sign MoUs and get angel investments. All these aspects will help strengthen India's strong bond of friendship with the UAE." The Minister also said that startup need to experiment, fail and learn from their experiences.
"I would urge all of you from the startup world to go extra mile and take the startup story to all the remote places, villages, small towns, northeastern India and other regions," he added. On the government's role in promoting startups, he said that India aims to provide a level playing field and the best business ecosystem. "We have recently finalised the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE, which is expected to further enhance bilateral trade, B2B engagement and explore attractive investment opportunities. "I can assure you that we will take this partnership to newer heights in the areas of sustainability, aerospace, space technology, connectivity, AI, data analytics, 5G, Metaverse, etc. We look forward to leveraging each other's offerings and expertise," he said. In addition, Goyal said that the UAE-India partnership is destined to play an important role in the global economy and in ensuring a better future for billions of people around the world. "This will be a defining partnership for the 21st century."