Modi in America: Blending business, defence & soft power for stronger India-US relations

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON: Blending India’s soft power with business and diplomacy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched down in Washington for the state dinner and talks with US President Joe Biden.

He was welcomed by hordes of devotees and adoring fans at the stately Willard hotel in downtown Washington.

PM Modi will hold talks with President Biden on June 22 which will culminate in a pathbreaking jet engine deal and transformational outcomes in areas of energy, health and development.

PM Modi began his maiden state visit to the US from New York on June 20 where he held meetings with top CEOs of iconic companies and pitched for enhancing US investment in India.

“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.

Yoga Power

On June 21, PM Modi led the celebrations of the International Day of Yoga at the iconic North Lawn of the United Nations Headquarters on June 21, showcasing India’s soft power.
The theme for this year is ‘Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth · One Family · One Future”.
The event saw an overwhelming response from thousands of yoga enthusiasts from over 135 nationalities, setting a Guinness World Record for participation by maximum number of nationalities in a Yoga session. A video message by UN Secretary-General Mr. Antonio Guterres was played as well.
Eminent diplomats, aAcademicians, Technocrats, Industry leaders, Media personalities, Artists, Spiritual leaders and Yoga practitioners participated in the Yoga Day event. These included Mr. Csaba Korosi, President of the 77th United Nations General Assembly; Mr. Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City; Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development.

Power of Ideas

In an important step to build connections with the intellectual community, PM Modi met a galaxy of thought leaders, including leading American economist Prof Paul Romer, investor and co-founder of the hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates Ray Dalio, Elon Musk, and updated them about the reform trajectory of his government.

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.

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India Writes Network
India Writes Network
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