Washington: In the second leg of his three-nation tour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met and interacted with 20 top American CEOs at a roundtable meeting in Washington D.C., and talked about various topics ranging from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), technology, India’s economy and Digital India, Make in India, Skill Development, Demonetisation and the thrust towards renewable energy among others.
Welcoming the CEOs, Prime Minister Modi said that the world is focussed on India’s economy. He said a young population and a rising middle class are among factors, which generate global interest in the Indian economy, especially in areas such as manufacturing, trade and commerce, and people to people contacts.
He said that in the last three years, the Union Government in India has focussed on improvement in quality of life of the people.
The Prime Minister said this requires global partnership, adding, therefore the Indian Government is working on principles such as Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the recent reforms, and noted that the Union Government alone has initiated 7,000 reforms. He said this indicates India’s quest for global benchmarks. He mentioned the Government’s emphasis on efficiency, transparency, growth and benefit for all.
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. He 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.
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.
Several CEOs showed their willingness to be partners in skill development and education initiatives. They also mentioned social initiatives being undertaken by their companies in India, in spheres such as women empowerment, digital technology, education and food processing. Themes such as infrastructure, defence manufacturing and energy security also came up for discussion.
In conclusion, the Prime Minister thanked the CEOs for their observations.
Prime Minister Modi further sought enhanced attention from the CEOs in areas such as women empowerment, renewable energy, startups 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.
Prime Minister Modi will next meet United States President Donald Trump and would be the first world leader to have a working dinner with the latter at the White House.
Looking forward to his meeting with President Trump, Prime Minister Modi said India and the U.S. have shared values. He said if America becomes stronger, India will be a natural beneficiary. He also added that India believes that a strong America is good for the world.
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.