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Last Updated : Jun 23, 2017 12:09 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

PM Narendra Modi to brainstorm with top CEOs in Washington on June 25 ahead of Trump summit

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, American Tower Corporation Chairman Jim Taiclet, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Adobe Chairman and CEO Shantanu Narayen, Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon will attend the meeting among others

Gaurav Choudhury @gauravchoudhury

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet top global CEOs in Washington on June 25 to hard sell the India story, as he seeks to refresh the Indo-US relationship with the Trump administration in a rapidly changing geo-political calculus.

The brainstorming with CEOs will take place a day before the Modi’s meeting with US President Donald Trump in the White House on June 26 where a few thorny issues including H1B visa and climate change could come up for discussion.

Top sources told Moneycontrol that the meeting with CEOs will take place at Washington’s Willard Intercontinental Hotel, close to the White House.

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Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, American Tower Corporation Chairman Jim Taiclet, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Adobe Chairman and CEO Shantanu Narayen, Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Lockheed Martin Chairman Marillyn A Hewson, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon, Warburg Pincus co-CEO Charles Kaye, Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers, and Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen are among the 19 CEOs that Modi will meet during a one-and-a half hour meeting scheduled to begin at 11 am.

Modi will likely showcase the structural reforms India has undertaken over the last three years to hasten fund flow, ease procedures, remove red-tape and turn the country into a more business friendly destination.

Modi’s three-day overseas schedule begins on Saturday with a stopover in Portugal on June 24 and a Netherlands visit on June 27 on way back from the US.

The majority of the CEOs who will attend Sunday’s meeting are from services, technology and private equity giants, a tad different from past business leaders’ meetings that had significant manufacturing sector representation.

Emerson Chairman and CEO David Farr, EY CEO Mark Weinberger, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson, Mastercard President and CEO Ajay Banga, Mondelez Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld, and The Carlyle Group co-Founder and co-CEO David Rubenstein will also attend the meeting.

The meeting comes in backdrop of a big churn in India’s information technology industry, which has fuelled aspirations of millions of middle class Indians for more than two decades. Hemmed in by growing automation, and tightening visa rules, IT firms are witnessing their slowest growth in a decade.

The Trump administration has imposed stricter rules for H1B visas affecting Indian software companies.

Job creation has been the Modi-administration’s biggest challenge that stormed to power three years ago, promising to usher in `Aachchen din’ (Good days). Critics have spared no punches in pinning down the government for failing to create enough opportunities for millions of young people who join the queue of hopefuls every month.

The Prime Minister will likely highlight the NDA government’s reforms record including the goods and services tax (GST) that will kick-in from July 1, ending more than 11 years of hectic confabulations withstanding testy relations often marked by political brinkmanship.

Modi is also likely to talk about `Digital India’—a signature initiative to bridge the country’s digital divide, make governance more technology-enabled and public services easily accessible. He may also allude to `demonetisation’ – the world’s largest currency withdrawal exercise that he had announced in November, and how India is attempting to curb corruption and discourage cash transactions through tech-enabled tools.

The Prime Minister is likely to make a strong pitch for India’s competitive advantage as potential global innovation hub backed by an enabling policy environment and a strong human resource base.

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First Published on Jun 23, 2017 11:07 am
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