Modi in America: Blending business & soft power in New York

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON: Blending India’s soft power with business and diplomacy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his maiden state visit to the US from New York where he held meetings with top CEOs of iconic companies and pitched for enhancing US investment in India.

PM Modi touched down in New York on June 20 in his special aircraft to a cheerful welcome by hordes of Indian-Americans.  “Landed in New York City. Looking forward to the programmes here including interaction with thought leaders and the Yoga Day programme tomorrow, 21st June,” Mr. Modi tweeted.

In New York, PM Modi will lead the celebrations of the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations Headquarters on June 21, showcasing India’s soft power, before he flies to Washington to hold bilateral talks with President Joe Biden. PM Modi has visited the US as Prime Minister five times, but this will be  the first time he will be feted by the US president on a state visit, with all the pomp and ceremony that goes with it.

In Washington, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host a private dinner for the 72-year-old Indian leader on June 21, before hosting a state banquet for him the next day at the White House. PM Modi will be only the third state visitor of the Biden administration, after French President Emmanuel Macron in December 2022 and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in April 2023. Modi will also become only the first Indian leader to address the joint session of the US Congress on June 22.

The centrepiece of PM Modi’s visit to the US will be a pathbreaking agreement between General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to co-manufacture jet engines in India. Co-manufacturing of GE F414 jets, which will be used to power future fighter jets such as the Tejas Mark 2, promises to be a game-changer for India’s quest to indigenize its defence-industrial complex.

Ahead of the talks between PM Modi and President Biden on June 22, the White House underlined that India will be a critical strategic partner for the US in the coming decades.  “India will be a critical strategic partner for the United States in the coming decades,” National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications (NSCCSC) John Kirby told journalists in Washington on June 20.

India’s growing commitment to playing a more “engaged international role, including in the Indo-Pacific Quad, demonstrates a new and growing willingness to join the United States to protect and advance a shared vision of a free, open, and rules-based global order”, he said.


Author Profile

Manish Chand
Manish Chand
Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network ( and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.