PM Modi holds round-table conference with US CEOs

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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day tour to the US, is holding a round table with about 20 executives from companies based in the United States. The prime minister is later expected to greet members of the Indian diaspora in Virginia.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting with CEOs at the Hotel Willard Intercontinental. Prominent entrepreneurs like Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella from Microsoft and Ajay Banga from Mastercard are among the CEOs meeting Modi.
  • While addressing the roundtable meeting with US Business leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that landmark initiative of GST could be a subject of studies in US business schools.PM Modi invited the companies to explore India story.
  • Growth of India presents win-win partnership for both India and US. Further he gave an invitation to the CEOs to invest in India and assured that US companies have a great opportunity to contribute to India’s growth trajectory. PM Modi also added that world is looking at India at present.

(“7,000 reforms alone by GOI for ease of business and minimum government and maximum governance,”) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • PM Modi said that the implementation of the landmark initiative of GST could be a subject of studies in US business schools.
  • PM Modi is expected to have talks with President Trump on a host of strategic issues. Official sources said that the leaders are likely to discuss 2008 civil nuclear deal, however, agreement on nuclear reactor projects are unlikely.
  • Earlier, leading US congressmen had called on President Donald Trump to press Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove barriers to US trade and investment when they meet for the first time on Monday.

Future Barriers and Deals:-

TRADE AND INVESTMENT BARRIERS:-

  • The lawmakers, from the Republican and Democratic parties, said in a letter to Trump that high-level engagement with India had failed to eliminate major trade and investment barriers and had not deterred India from imposing new ones.
  • “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, noting that a 2017 World Bank report ranked India 130th out of 190 countries for ease of doing business.
  • The lawmakers – Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and Ranking Member Richard Neal, and Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden – said the bilateral economic relationship “severely underperforms” as a result of India’s failure to enact market-based reforms.

BARRIERS OVER MULTIPLE SECTORS:-

  • The barriers covered multiple sectors and included high tariffs, inadequate protection of intellectual property rights, and inconsistent and non-transparent licensing and regulatory practices.
  • Among US goods affected were solar and information technology products, telecommunications equipment and biotechnology products. The lawmakers also pointed to limitations on foreign participation in professional services, restrictive foreign equity caps for financial, retail, and other major services sectors and barriers to digital trade and Internet services.
  • While progress is expected in defense trade and cooperation , Trump, who campaigned on an “America First” platform has been irritated by the growing U.S. trade deficit with India and has called for reform of the H1B visa system that has benefited Indian tech firms.

TRUMP’S JIBE AT PARIS CLIMATE DEAL:-

  • Other signs of friction have included Trump accusing New Delhi of negotiating unscrupulously at the Paris climate talks to walk away with billions in aid.Indian officials reject suggestions that Modi’s “Make in India” platform is protectionist and complain about the US regulatory process for generic pharmaceuticals and rules on fruit exports to the United States.
  • They stress the future importance of the huge Indian market to US firms and major growth in areas such as aviation which will offer significant opportunities for US manufacturers.

F-16 AND GUARDIAN DRONES:-

  • Tata Advanced Systems Ltd and US plane maker Lockheed Martin Corp. have signed an agreement to produce F-16 fighters in India ahead of the government’s plan to buy more fighter jets.
  • The deal comes days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US on 26 June. India has announced defence contracts ahead of or during similar international visits in the past. India and the US have increased defence cooperation over the past decade. US President Donald Trump, on his part, has opposed any move to move manufacturing facilities to foreign shores.
  • The US has cleared the sale of 22 unmanned Guardian drones (Predator drones) to India, governmental sources said on Friday, a deal being termed as a “game changer” ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for his maiden meeting with President Donald Trump.
  • The deal, estimated to be worth $2to 3 billion, has been approved by the State Department. The designation of India being a “major defence partner” was decided by the previous Obama Administration, and formally approved by the Congress.