Narendra Modi to hold talks with over 15 top US corporate honchos

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 24 2014, 04:47am hrs
In a power-packed business meeting schedule in the US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with over 15 top American corporate honchos, including top executives of Google, Boeing and General Electric, as India looks to attract more overseas investments.

Modi, who will be on a five-day visit to the US from September 26, would be meeting as many as 11 top corporate honchos over breakfast on September 29 apart from one-on-one meetings with six more business captains same day in New York.

They include Google Executive Chairman Eric E Schmidt, Carlyle Group, Co-Founder and Co-CEO David M Rubenstein, Cargill President and CEO David W MacLennan, Merck & Co CEO Kenneth C Frazier Hospira Chairman John C Staley Citigroup CEO Michael L Corbat, Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Dough Oberhelman, MasterCard President and CEO Ajay Banga, Pepsico Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

Nooyi and Banga are India-origin executives.

On the same day, the Prime Minister would also be having one-on-one meetings with six other senior executives. Besides Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd C Blankfein, Modi would be meeting Boeing Chairman and CEO W James McNerney Jr, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Laurence D Fink, IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty, General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, among others.

Modi will also be participating in a business meet, to be organised by the USIBC, expected to be attended by 300-400 businessmen in Washington on September 30.

The Prime Minister would be having these meetings days after launching his government's ambitious 'Make In India' campaign on September 25.

Besides, a host of issues related to 'totalisation' and intellectual property rights are expected to figure in the Prime Minister's talks with the officials as well as industry leaders, according to External Affairs Ministry.

The major issues related to IPR are compulsory licensing and 'ever greening' of patents or frivolous patents, as described by India.

India has been also been raising concerns about 'totalisation' where professionals are required to contribute to the US social security system but are deprived of the benefits. Given that there are about three lakh Indian professionals in the US, the MEA officials today said the issues remain a priority for the government.

The US has been, however, insisting that there should be a reciprocal totalisation treaty between the two countries to provide social security benefits to the Indian workers.

Among others, the visa issue related to Indian IT professionals, possible co-operation in the energy and infrastructure sectors, are expected to be discussed during the visit.

Bilateral trade between the two countries in goods stood at nearly USD 64 billion last year while there has been substantial foreign direct investment flows from the US.

Most of the major American corporations have presence in India.

The visit comes against the backdrop of Modi government making efforts to woo foreign investors to bolster economic growth.

'Make In India' initiative is aimed at making the country a global manufacturing hub, creating huge employment avenues, as well as strengthen trade and economic growth.