Business Diplomacy: Modi set for power breakfast with top US CEOs

Modi speechB for Business, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi surely means business as he braces to unleash a charm offensive at a breakfast with top American CEOs in New York.

In his forthcoming visit, business diplomacy will be high on Mr Modi’s agenda as he looks to drum up support from corporate America for partnering in his development agenda for India.

Making India a more business-friendly nation has been a key priority for the new administration in Delhi, and this attitude will be showcased to America’s corporate elite.

Before he heads to Washington for his first meeting with US President Barack Obama, it will be business from the word go as Modi is scheduled to meet a select group of 10 American CEOs for a breakfast meeting in New York.

Besides the meeting, he will also have a one-on-one interaction with five key corporates and finance leaders in New York, including Ginni Rometty of IBM, Jeff Immelt of GE and Marilyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin.

After his meeting with CEOs in New York, he will again persuade CEOs during his visit to Washington on September 29, where he will attend a special meeting at the Chamber of Commerce as part of a US-India Business Council reception.

In recent years, while bilateral investments between India and the US have been on an upswing, it is still far below potential. The US is India’s fifth largest source of foreign direct investment with cumulative FDI inflows of about $ 11.92 billion from April 2000 to March 2014.

Indian companies have invested over $ 17 billion in the US over the last few years. The total trade volume between the two economic powerhouses stands at just over 100 billion USD.

Enhanced investments will be central to accomplishing the goal of enhancing India-US bilateral trade to $ 500 billion mark by 2030.

Since coming to power in May, the Modi administration have undertaken key second-generation economic reforms as part of its efforts to make India more business friendly. The Modi government has raised the FDI equity cap for foreign investors in key sectors like defence, insurance and railways from 26% to 49%.

He is also set to launch his “Make in India” campaign on September 25 — this initiative seeks to present India as a global manufacturing hub and will invite global investors to invest in nearly two dozen sectors including automobiles, civil aviation, defence, railways, tourism, hospitality and wellness.

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