Ahead of his talks with Trump, PM to meet top CEOs

RSTV Bureau

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering his address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit (SCO) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet top American CEOs of global giants, including Apple, Microsoft and Google, here, with issues ranging from visas, investment and job creation expected to occupy centerstage during the discussions.

A day before Modi visits the White House for his first bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump, about 20 CEOs of global multinationals will meet the Indian leader for the CEOs Round Table at the Hotel Willard Intercontinental late in the evening (IST).

Modi arrived in the US capital today for his three-day visit during which he will also interact with members of the Indian diaspora at a relatively low-key community event in a Virginia suburb neighbouring Washington DC.

The CEOs round table is expected to be attended by Apple chief Tim Cook, Walmart head Doug McMillon, Caterpillar’s Jim Umpleby, Google head Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

Others in attendance include Mariott International chief Arne Sorenson, Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky, Mastercard’s Ajay Banga, Warburg Pincus’s Charles Kaye and Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein.

Modi will deliver opening and closing remarks at the meeting and will also hear from each chief executive present at the meeting.

With Modi’s visit coming against the backdrop of concerns among the Indian IT industry as well as among the Indian immigrants over the H1-B work visas, the issue could feature among the discussions at the meeting with the CEOs. Given Modi’s focus on ‘Make in India’, job creation in India will also be a key agenda.

The discussions could also include the post- demonetisation macroeconomic scenario in India and the potential gains through the GST rollout from next month.

Following the CEO meeting, Modi will head to the Virginia suburb for a community event expected to be attended by over 600 members of the Indian diaspora.

The community event will be smaller in scale as compared to the Madison Square Garden extravaganza in 2014, when close to 19,000 members of the Indian diaspora had accorded a rockstar reception to the then newly-elected Indian leader.

Modi will address the gathering of Indian Americans at the community event and head back to DC, where on Monday he will hold his first bilateral meeting with Trump in the White House. Just hours before Modi was to land in Washington, Trump tweeted that he was looking forward to “welcoming India’s PM Modi to White House on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!”

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted “old partnerships, new friendships – Prime Minister Modi arrives at Joint Base Andrews, Washington DC for first meeting with President Trump,” as Air India-1 landed.