Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India has now emerged as a business friendly destination, more so with the upcoming implementation of landmark GST beginning next month, while asking CEOs of top US companies to invest in the country.
India’s growth presents a win-win partnership for the country and the US, and American companies have a great opportunity to contribute to that, Modi told the CEOs. “If America becomes stronger, India will be a natural beneficiary,” Modi said.
Modi, during his meeting with the CEOs of top 20 American firms, also said that India attracted the largest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) as a result of the NDA government’s policies in the last three years.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a company or individual in one country in business interests in another country, in the form of either establishing business operations or acquiring business assets in the other country, such as ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company.
The origin of the investment does not impact the definition as an FDI: the investment may be made either “inorganically” by buying a company in the target country or “organically” by expanding operations of an existing business in that country.
In the round table interaction with the group that included Tim Cook of Apple, Sunder Pichai from Google, John Chambers from Cisco and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, he spoke about the reforms undertaken by his government, saying they numbered over 7,000, and were aimed at “ease of doing business and minimum government, maximum governance.”
On the GST, the Prime Minister said that this is becoming a reality after years of effort. He added that its implementation is a complex task that may well be the subject of future case-studies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, added that this shows India can take big decisions and implement them swiftly.
The CEOs appreciated Prime Minister Modi for his policy initiatives and the work done in recent times towards ease of doing business.
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.
Initiatives such as Digital India, Make in India, Skill Development, Demonetisation and the thrust towards renewable energy came in for much appreciation from a number of CEOs.
According to Indian officials present at the meeting, several CEOs showed willingness to be partners in skill development and education initiatives in India. They also mentioned social initiatives being undertaken by their companies in India in women empowerment, digital technology, education and food processing.
In conclusion, the Prime Minister thanked the CEOs for their observations. Narendra Modi further sought enhanced attention from the CEOs in areas such as women empowerment, renewable energy, start-ups and innovation. He suggested linking sanitary practices, products and technologies with the requirements of school going girls. He reiterated that his primary interest is improving the quality of life in India.
In a recent policy document, USIBC said the US-India commercial and strategic relationship supports global security, promotes economic growth and creates jobs for both countries and the global economy.
“Today, as we witness a paradigm shift in the erstwhile global order, an opportunity has emerged for both countries to set new standards in bilateral ties that will be bound by their shared values,” USIBC said.
The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) was formed in 1975 as a business advocacy organization to enlighten and encourage the private sectors of both India and United States to enhance investment flows. The organization serves as a direct link between business and Government leaders, resulting in increased trade and investment to strengthen ties between the two nations.
“Interacted with top CEOs. We held extensive discussions on opportunities in India,” Modi tweeted after the meeting that lasted for about 90 minutes.
In a separate statement, Jagdip Ahluwalia, executive director of Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, said the United States and India share a very symbiotic relationship, and Modi’s first face to face visit with Donald Trump is important to strengthen the relationship between the two.
Later in the day, Prime Minister Modi addressed the Indian diaspora in Virginia where he talked about terrorism, counter-terrorism, surgical strikes, the success of gas subsidy transfer and how the Ministry of External Affairs in India has brought a change in the lives of Indians across the globe.