Sunil Mittal calls for creating opportunities for youth to prevent social unrest

Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal yesterday stressed the need to bridge the global digital divide and create opportunities for the young to prevent social unrest.

Addressing the Business 20 forum on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Mittal also spoke about the need to provide easy and affordable access to information communication technologies to millions across the world.

''The global economy is facing considerable headwinds and the unemployment rate amongst youth across the world is at a high of 13 per cent. We must create meaningful opportunities for the young people to avoid social unrest,'' he said.

He said, the internet, could become the ''cornerstone of more inclusive global economic growth''.

He also outlined the need to bring more women and youngsters into mainstream economic growth to ensure balanced development within economies.

''If we want to help people feed, heal, educate and employ themselves, we need to ensure they can connect to the internet. The challenge of connecting the world will require us to take many different and complementary actions in the coming years,'' said Mittal, the vice chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Mittal highlighted the need for simpler and easier global trading norms and investments in infrastructure and added, the world needed to create more employment opportunities for women and youth.

He said, for the revival of global business environment, the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement needed to be ratified and implemented.

Mittal, asked world leaders to commit and invest in developing digital infrastructure to deliver a brighter and more prosperous future to their citizens.

Stating that the internet could emerge as the cornerstone of a more inclusive global economic growth, he underlined "the need to bridge the global digital divide and provide easy and affordable access to Information Communication Technologies."

"The impact of implementing the TFA (trade facilitation agreement) would be greater than eliminating all remaining tariff barriers the world over-and could lead to an increase in SME exports by up to 80 per cent in some economies as the Internet opens up new market opportunities," he noted.