Narendra Modi Concludes Historic Visit to USA

Modi visited the headquarters of ‘Facebook’ and held meetings with Mark Zuckerberg

After a highly successful visit, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, on a visit to the United States from September 23 to September 28, 2015, to attend the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA, returned on Monday, September 28th after a historical visit, winning many a heart.

During the visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended and spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City at the headquarters of the United Nations. India also hosted a G-4 summit in New York, which was attended by Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, President of Brazil, Dilma Roussef.

In a first for the Premier of India, Modi visited the Silicon Valley, and the West Coast of USA on September 26 and September 27, 2015. During which he met several business leaders and the Indian diaspora in USA. Modi, who is known for using the social media extensively, visited the headquarters of the social networking site ‘Facebook’ and held meetings with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Tim Cook CEO of Apple, Sundar Pichai CEO of Google, Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm, John Chambers of Cisco Systems. Prime Minister Narendra Modi garnered support for ‘Digital India’ campaign by these top Chief Executive Officer’s of different companies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met several world leaders on September 28, 2015 in New York and also attended the peacekeeping summit. He held bilateral talks with the President of United States of America, Barack Obama, President of France, Francois Hollande, Prime Minister of United Kingdom, David Cameroon, President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Neto, President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, President of Sri Lanka Mathripala Sirisena, President of Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fateh el- sisi, President of Guyana David A. Granger.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his United States visit from New York last week with unmistakable signals that he wishes to take India on a higher growth path through American investments and technology collaboration, inviting U.S. business to enter India without inhibitions and join his “Make in India” campaign.

That Modi, during his second visit to the U.S since becoming the prime minister, devoted his five-day visit largely to wooing the investment community, and the tech-entrepreneurs later in California to make his dream of digital India program, an emphatic success, was evident from the list of people he was to meet both in New York and California – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and CEOs from other media entities as well as Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan, Steve Schwarzman, chairman, CEO of Blackstone, Charles Kaye, Co-CEO of Warburg Pincus, and Peter Hancock, president and CEO, AIF Insurance, all in New York and, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, CEO of Google Sundar Pichai, Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco and Shantanu Narayen, the president and the CEO of Adobe. The Prime Minister visited Google while in California where he will reach evening of Sept. 26.

Starting in New York Sept 24, Modi made a strong pitch for investment in India during a roundtable with top Wall Street CEOs at Waldorf Astoria where he is staying. He touted India’s 7.3 percent GDP growth last year, noting that there has been a 40 percent increase in Foreign Direct Investment. He talked about his government’s efforts during the last 15 months to increase investment in areas of taxation, infrastructure and FDI.

By and large, the CEOs appreciated the steps taken by the government on ease of doing business, on economic growth and reforms. All of them, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters, were very bullish on India and said that India has a lot of potential for investment. They also acknowledged that financial market reforms have already started and more reforms would happen in the days to come.

Together, these companies like JP Morgan, Blackstone, Warburg Pincus and AIF Insurance, at the roundtable, manage billions and billions of dollars. “Most of them have exposure to India. So, this was a very good opportunity for the Prime Minister to listen to their experience of doing business with India, to see what concerns they had and how we could work to remove those concerns,” Swarup said.

“CEOs were very interested in India’s start-up sector. They appreciated steps taken by government to make business easier,” Modi tweeted after the hour-long meeting with CEOs.

The Prime Minister assured the investors that “work is already underway” to resolve their issues and asked the CEOs to give him a detailed note on all the concerns raised during the meeting which will be examined in detail and responded to. Modi “took on board” suggestions made by the executives as he outlined the scale of development he expects to happen in India and the tremendous opportunities it offers to foreign institutional investors and for FDI.

Giving the CEOs an indication of the quantum of investment required, Modi told them that India is going to construct 50 million houses, 600 villages are going to be connected with broadband and 24×7 electricity would be provided to all in an environmentally sustainable way. For these developments, 175 Giga watts of renewable energy are going to be created, 50 big cities are going to have metros. Modi’s point was India was not just among the fastest-growing economies but had also done much towards the ease of doing business, something that should attract investors.

Before flying back to India after his 5-day visit to US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made another pitch for reforms in the United Nations Security Council, during the world body’s peacekeeping summit today. At the summit, he also acknowledged his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharief, with a wave.

In New York, PM Modi and President Barack Obama decided to “further refine” the Indo-US strategic partnership while pushing ahead with cooperation in the areas of security, counter-terrorism, defence, economy and climate change. However, linking with the diaspora comprises an important facet of Modi’s foreign visits, including the current visit to the United States.

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