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Google to open major fintech centre in India’s new smart city

The move comes as Google earmarks India as a key market and invests $10bn in India’s digitisation fund.

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Google is to open its global fintech operation centre in India’s first “greenfield smart city”, as it invests $10bn in India’s digitisation fund.

The announcement was made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai after meeting Indian PM Narendra Modi in Washington on Friday last week.

The operation centre will be located in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), which is a central business district and “smart city” under construction in the Indian state of Gujarat, India’s fifth biggest state.

During the meeting, Pichai spoke positively about the PM’s vision for Digital India, which is a key plank of the Modi government.

"It was an honour to meet PM Modi during the historic visit to the US. We shared with the Prime Minister that Google is investing $10 billion in India's digitisation fund. We are announcing the opening of our global fintech operation centre in GIFT City, Gujarat," news agency ANI quoted Pichai as saying.

The Google CEO added: “The PM's vision for Digital India was way ahead of his time and I now see it as a blueprint that other countries are looking to do.

"We are continuing to invest through that, including in companies working on artificial intelligence.

The Google CEO met the Indian PM along with other business leaders, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and US president Joe Biden on Friday.

In 2020, Google said it would be investing $10bn in India over the next five to seven years, as it earmarked India as a key growth market.

Last year, the Google CEO said that as part of the India Digitisation Fund (IDF), it will be focusing on Indian startups and one-fourth amount of $300 million from the fund will be invested in entities that are led by women.

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