Narendra Modi in Washington: Prime minister meets CEOs, says GST can be taught in US business schools

The whole world is looking at India and its 7,000 reforms for ease of doing business, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the CEO's meet in the United States on Sunday. According to NDTV, Modi is holding a roundtable with 21 top executives of US-based companies in Washington. Google's Sundar Pichai, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos,  and Mastercard's Ajay Banga are some of those who are going to attend the meeting.

According to the NDTV report, the prime minister is going to address the chief concerns of American businesses such as the economic scenario in India post demonetisation, and the issue of jobs, given his focus on 'Make in India'.

"The whole world is looking at India. Seven thousand reforms alone have been done by the government for ease of business," Modi said, as per a tweet by external affairs ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay.

Foreign investors too have been eagerly looking forward to the rollout of the single pan-India GST, which will replace the existing myriad central and state levies on both goods and services.

File image of Narendra Modi. AP

File image of Narendra Modi. AP


"Growth of India presents a win-win partnership for India and US both. American companies have a great opportunity to contribute," Baglay quoted Modi as telling the CEOs.

During his interaction with a group of CEOs of top 20 American firms, Modi also said that India attracted largest foreign direct investment (FDI) as a result of NDA government policies in the last three years.

The prime minister listed out steps taken by his government in the last three years and next moves. During the hour-long interaction, at the Willard Hotel, where he is staying, Modi gave a patient hearing to the wishlist of the CEOs.

Among other CEOs present at the meeting were Shantanu Narayen from Adobe, Ajay Banga from Mastercard, David Farr from Emerson, Doug McMillon and Punit Renjen from Deloitte Global. Mukesh Aghi, president of the US-India Business Council, was also present at the meeting.

Posting a group picture of the prime minister with the CEOs, Baglay commented: "Strengthening the India-US economic partnership."

In a recent policy document, USIBC said the US-India commercial and strategic relationship supports global security, promotes economic growth and creates jobs for both countries and the global economy.


"Today, as we witness a paradigm shift in the erstwhile global order, an opportunity has emerged for both countries to set new standards in bilateral ties that will be bound by their shared values," USIBC said.

Noting that US-India trade has tripled over the last decade, reaching a historic high of nearly $ 110 billion in 2015, USIBC said there is an opportunity for both the countries to also sync their regulatory and standards system to increase trade and investment.

In a separate statement, Jagdip Ahluwalia, executive director of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, said that the United States and India share a very symbiotic relationship, and Modi’s first face to face visit with President Donald Trump is important to strengthen the relationship between the two nations.

"On behalf of Houston, the energy capital of the world and home of the world's largest medical centre the IACCGH and the strong Indian American community hope to welcome prime minister Modi to Houston in the not too distant future,” Ahluwalia said.

This is Modi's fifth visit to the US as prime minister. While the highlight of his first visit in 2014 was his interaction with the Indian diaspora at Madison Square Garden in New York, his second visit saw him interacting with head honchos of top IT companies in California.

Modi again visited the US in March 2016 for the Nuclear Security Summit and followed this up by a bilateral visit at the invitation of then president Barack Obama. The prime minister addressed a joint sitting of the US Congress to much acclaim.

On Saturday, Trump had tweeted, "Look forward to welcoming India's PM Modi to @WhiteHouse on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend! (sic)" ahead of Modi's arrival from Portugal on the second leg of his three-nation tour that will also take him to the Netherlands.

Talks between Modi and Trump in what would be their first face-to-face meeting would focus on ongoing cooperation, including counter-terrorism and defence partnership in the Indo-Pacific region, besides trade and law enforcement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had said.

However, Monday's meeting comes under the shadow of Trump's efforts for stricter norms for issuance of H1-B visas, a key issue for Indian IT companies operating in the US, and Washington pulling out of the Paris climate agreement on which both Modi and Obama worked hard.

With inputs from agencies


Published Date: Jun 25, 2017 11:14 pm | Updated Date: Jun 25, 2017 11:16 pm



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