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Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, on Wednesday called upon startups to help micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas leverage technology to grow their businesses and encourage farmers, weavers and artisans to use digital platforms to sell their products.

"Startups will help India's transition from an assembly economy, particularly in the digital world, to a knowledge-based economy," Goyal said while virtually addressing the 16th India Digital Summit 2022 here on Wednesday.

"It has been six years since the Startup India Mission was launched. In these six years, we have already produced 82 Unicorns, the third largest in the world, while over 60,000 startups are registered with the DPIIT.

"With the growing recognition of our skilled people across the world, investors are queuing up from around the globe to come and participate in the revolution that we are witnessing in the startup ecosystem. From 2018-21, more than six lakh Jobs were created by our startups. In the last year alone, more than two lakh jobs were created," Goyal said.

The minister on the occasion unveiled 'LEAP' -- Leverage, Encourage, Access and Promote -- as the way forward for startups

"There is always room for improvement and with 'Sabka Prayas', we can strengthen our startup ecosystem further," he said.

Commerce Minister Interacts With Industry Leaders

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal has also interacted with the leaders of the major industry bodies to seek their suggestions and inputs to ensure continuation of fast rebound of economic activities, and high growth rates, officials said on Wednesday.

He congratulated the Indian industry for bouncing back after taking a hit due to the pandemic and for the resilience displayed while grappling with the pandemic, especially in the field of exports.

The Minister said that the growth in services exports, in-spite of travel and tourism restrictions was truly commendable and said that we must aim to reach $250 billion services exports.

He added that Indian professionals had demonstrated great success in working from home and therefore the nation had succeeded in meeting every single one of its international commitments, even during the pandemic, earning it the title of being a trusted partner to the world.

The Minister said that there was an imminent need for upgradation of testing facilities and labs to improve quality and called upon Indian Industry to extend its support in this regard. He also asks the industry to lend guidance for transformational exports growth beyond $400 billion and to invest more and place greater emphasis upon Research and Development activities as a business and growth strategy.

Underscoring the government's commitment towards infrastructure development and capital expenditure, Goyal said that the Centre would always support businesses activities.

He also asked the industry leaders to use initiatives like the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan and India Industrial Land Bank to the best possible extent to expand and grow.

The Minister observed that by and large economic activities had not been impacted by the current Covid surge.

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