Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened his three-day visit to the United States on Thursday with back-to-back meetings with CEOs of five major US companies – from IT and finance to defense and renewable energy – who are seeking either to bring new investments to India or expand their existing presence.
Two of these CEOs are of Indian descent: Vivek Lall from defense giant General Atomics and Shantanu Narayen from Adobe.
“We spoke of an incredible opportunity to advance the industry not only nationally in India, but also in India as an exporter (eur) of technology, everything related to digital transformation, enabled by 5G. combined with the design in India, “Cristiano Amon, CEO of IT giant Qualcomm, said after the meeting. “We talked about semiconductors, which is a big topic of conversation, I think. And we talked about the opportunity to continue to build an amazing mobile ecosystem that is growing in India. “
As a newcomer to the semiconductor field, India has aggressively courted manufacturers to locate there. Securing the semiconductor supply chain is expected to be a key topic of discussion on Friday at the first in-person summit of Quad chief US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga .
The four leaders are expected to agree to work together to secure the semiconductor supply chain. The United States and Japan are the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers along with China, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Other CEOs who met Narendra Modi were Mark Widmar of First Solar, a manufacturer of solar panels; Stephen A Schwarzman of Blackstone, a global investment management firm.
Mark Widmar said after the meeting that India had found “a very solid balance between industrial policy and trade policy”, making it an ideal opportunity for companies like First Solar to establish a manufacturing in India”.
Discussions with Narayen, an Indian of American origin, focused “on the use of technology to provide smart education for young people and improve research,” the prime minister’s office wrote in a tweet, adding: ” They also discussed the vibrant start-up sector in India, fueled by Indian youth.
Previewing the meetings, a source said on Wednesday that they were “CEOs who represent very large corporate interests, companies with special expertise who have invested in India and who have the potential to invest in India. significantly in India “.
The encounter with Lall is particularly noteworthy in view of the 30 unarmed Predator MQ-9 drones manufactured by General Atomics that Indian plans to acquire, in addition to the two already in service with the Indian Navy.
Vivek Lall said he had had an “exceptional” meeting with the Prime Minister and hailed recent policy changes in India’s drone policy as “very laudable policy prescriptions and reforms” which “are catalyzing a lot of interest. and investments in India “.