Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked the chief executive officers of top United States companies to invest in India, PTI reported. During an event in Virginia, Modi said India has now emerged as a business-friendly destination, more so with the upcoming implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime scheduled for roll out next month.
Modi, who is currently in the United States on a two-day tour, will meet President Donald Trump for the first time on Monday. “Interacted with top CEOs,” Modi tweeted after a 90-minute-long meeting with the heads of 20 US-based firms. “We held extensive discussions on opportunities in India.” Apple chief Tim Cook, Google CEO Sunder Pichai, Cisco head John Chambers and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos were among the entrepreneurs at the meeting.
Modi said India had attracted the largest amount of Foreign Direct Investment in the last three years owing to the National Democratic Alliance government’s policies. H said a young population and a rising middle-class had help the Indian economy’s manufacturing, trade and commerce sectors.
The prime minister said his government had undertaken around 7,000 reforms to improve the “ease of [doing] business and promote minimum government, maximum governance.”
Meanwhile, leading US congressmen asked President Trump to press Modi to remove barriers to US trade and investment during their meeting on Monday, Reuters reported.
In a letter to Trump, the lawmakers, from the Republican and Democratic parties, said a number of US goods, including solar and information technology products, telecommunications equipment and biotechnology products, were affected as India continues to be a difficult place for American companies to do business.
“Many sectors of the Indian economy remain highly and unjustifiably protected, and India continues to be a difficult place for American companies to do business,” they wrote.
The lawmakers said the barriers included high tariffs, inadequate protection of intellectual property rights, and inconsistent and non-transparent licensing and regulatory practices.
They pointed out that a 2017 World Bank report had ranked India 130th out of 190 countries for ease of doing business.
‘No one questioned India’s surgical strikes’
Talking about India’s surgical strikes on the terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016, Modi said the world realised India’s power.
“When India conducted surgical strikes the world experienced our power and realised that India practices restrain but can show power when needed,” PM Modi said.
Modi said not a single country questioned India’s move to conduct surgical strikes.
“When India talked of terrorism 20 years back, many in the world said it was a law and order problem and didn’t understand it. Now terrorists have explained terrorism to them so we don’t have to,” Modi said.