GST a Gamechanger, Invest In India, Modi Tells Top CEOs in US

Pauline Gross
June 26, 2017

"India's relationship with the USA is a very important one in terms of economic relations, trade, industry and wider strategic relevance regarding Afghanistan, Pakistan", he told AFP.

"U.S. President has indicated that the U.S. will not hurt India in the IT sector". The US-India Business Council (USIBC) president Mukesh Aghi said the CEOs praised the reforms being undertaken by the Prime Minister and underscore his efforts to make India a business-friendly destination.

While Modi is expected to lobby for US visas for technology workers from India, "anti-worker" Modi's Government has been criticized for generating fewer jobs, cracking down on labor rights and exclusively focusing on foreign investments in its three years in office.

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 has said. He also added that India believes that a strong America is good for the world.

The lawmakers said the barriers included high tariffs, inadequate protection of intellectual property rights, and inconsistent and non-transparent licensing and regulatory practices.

Modi also said that both India and Portugal were determined to deepen the cooperation in the fight against terrorism and religious extremism.

"The Indian diaspora anywhere now has faith that their issues will be resolved,"PM Modi said".

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India attracted largest FDI because of NDA government's policies in the last three years, he added. Responding to a question, Aghi said the H-1B visa issue was not discussed at the meeting.

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PM Modi, in return, thanked Trump for the warm welcome rendered to him, while saying that he was looking forward to discussions with the latter. "I humbly state that whatever work my government has done in the last three years, till now there is not even one taint or blot on this government". They also mentioned social initiatives being undertaken by their companies in India, in spheres such as women empowerment, digital technology, education and food processing.

Indians account for almost 70% of the H-1B visas issued annually, making the country one of the top beneficiaries in the visa category.

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.

Speaking of a technology-driven change in the governance, Prime Minister Modi said on Sunday that Sushma Swaraj and her Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) helped many Indians in trouble overseas, after they approached her on social media.

Political analyst Ashley Tellis said in an interview with Asian Age that the meeting with Trump would give Modi "an opportunity to take the measure of the man, articulate India's interests, and describe the opportunities those interests provide for the US".

Modi will try to strengthen ties that have appeared to loosen.

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