Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s first trip to the US after Donald Trump came to the Oval Office started on Sunday (India Time) as he arrived at the Joint Base Andrews, Washington DC. He was received by Indian ambassador Navtej Sarna with his wife Avina Sarna and Chargé d’Affaires at US Embassy in Delhi MaryKay Loss Carlson, at the base. Indian diaspora waiting outside the airport greeted Modi with loud cheers “Modi… Modi and Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. Before he left for Willard InterContinental Hotel, Modi walked across the road to the cheering crowd and was seen signing autographs.
Soon after, Modi tweeted out replying to Donald Trump’s ‘True Friend’ message, “Thank you President of the United States (POTUS) for the warm personal welcome. Greatly look forward to my meeting and discussions with you, Donald Trump.”
Back home in India, as the day proceeded with “Mann ki Baat” messages from the prime minister, wherein he recounted the “dark days of the Emergency on its 42nd anniversary, in the US, he was set to meet top Indian and American CEOs in Washington DC that afternoon.
In his meeting with the top CEOs, Modi highlighted the Government of India’s diligent effort towards ease of doing business, while urging them to invest in India. Modi claimed that India attracted the largest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) because of NDA government’s policies.
In his interaction with the group of CEOs that included Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Modi spoke about the reforms undertaken by his government. Regarding the Goods and Service Tax, which is due to be rolled out on July 1, he said the implementation of GST could well turn out to be a subject of study in US B-schools.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 25, 2017
While speaking highly of the Indian diaspora, their energy and enthusiasm, he said, “I have travelled across the USA before I became a CM or PM. And after taking over as PM, the warmth the Indian community gave is memorable. I see immense energy in the Indian community that is based in USA. About the Indian diaspora, I can say that they rejoice when there is good news from India and they want India to scale newer heights. If you want to give back to India, this is the best time to do so.”
Reaffirming India’s military might and ability to defend itself, Modi said, “When India conducted surgical strikes the world experienced our power and realised that India practices restrain but can show power when needed.”
Sundhar Pichai also expressed that everyone was excited to invest more in India, adding that he was looking forward to GST roll out. Walmart India CEO Krish Iyer believed that GST could be a game changer.
Earlier on Saturday, India and Portugal inked 11 pacts to boost bilateral ties. Modi announced there a four million euros joint fund to bolster research in science and technology. After commending the contribution of more than 65,000 Indians in Portugal, the prime minister said they were India’s “real ambassadors” and have enriched the culture of the country they have made their home.