Modi-Trump meeting: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting US President Donald Trump for the first time today. He has also been invited by the US President for a dinner at the White House. Ahead of the meeting, PM Modi is hopeful of a positive outcome in favour of the lately blooming bilateral ties between the two largest democracies of the world. The India PM has shared his opinion on the Indo-US relations in the Wall Street Journal.
Last year while addressing a joint session of US Congress, PM Modi had stated that India-US had overcome the “hesitations of history”. A year later, Modi writes, he is “confident” about the “growing convergence between our two nations.” Reason: The PM says, “This confidence stems from the strength of our shared values and the stability of our systems. Our people and institutions have steadfastly viewed democratic change as an instrument for renewal and resurgence.”
“In an uncertain global economic landscape, our two nations stand as mutually reinforcing engines of growth and innovation,” he adds. On bilateral trade, Modi says it totals around $115 billion a year at present and this is poised for a “multifold increase.” Indian companies are present in over 35 states of the US. They have invested around $15 billion in the US, while the American companies have invested over $20 billion in India.
PM Modi mentions how India would change after the GST rollout from July 1 and the development of 100 smart cities. These, he says, provides an opportunity for the US enterprises to benefit from the India story.
Modi writes, “The transformation of India presents abundant commercial and investment opportunities for American businesses. The rollout of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1 will, in a single stroke, convert India into a unified, continent-sized market of 1.3 billion people. The planned 100 smart cities, the massive modernization of ports, airports, and road and rail networks, and the construction of affordable housing for all by 2022—the 75th anniversary of India’s independence—are not just promises of great urban renewal within India.”
According to the PM, Indian companies will import energy in excess of $40 billion from the U.S. in the coming years and over 200 American-made aircraft will join the private Indian aviation fleet.Technology, innovation and skilled workers have helped “forge an exciting digital and scientific partnership between our two countries.”
PM Modi says the logic of Indo-US partnership is “incontrovertible” and further underpinned by “faith in the strength of our multicultural societies”. On defence, PM says this is another mutually beneficial sphere of Indo-US partnership. “Both India and the U.S. have an overriding interest in securing our societies, and the world, from the forces of terrorism, radical ideologies and nontraditional security threats…We are already working together to address the existing and emerging strategic and security challenges that affect both our nations—in Afghanistan, West Asia, the large maritime space of the Indo-Pacific, the new and unanticipated threats in cyberspace. We also share an interest in ensuring that sea lanes—critical lifelines of trade and energy—remain secure and open to all,” Modi writes.