WASHINGTON – On the first leg of his visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sept. 23 met leading American CEOs here, including Indian American executives.
He held one-on-one meetings with the CEOs of semiconductor and wireless technology manufacturer Qualcomm, software major Adobe, renewable energy firm First Solar, arms manufacturer General Atomics and investment management company Blackstone.
The first meeting was held with Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm.
"President and CEO of @Qualcomm, @cristianoamon and PM @narendramodi had a productive interaction. PM Modi highlighted the vast opportunities India offers. Mr. Amon expressed keenness to work with India in areas such as 5G and other @_DigitalIndia efforts," the PMO tweeted.
"We talked about 5G and acceleration of 5G. We talked about the incredible opportunity to advance the industry, as we think about the digital transformation enabled by 5G combined with the design in India," Amon said.
He said Qualcomm may look at India as it builds a resilient supply chain for semiconductors if necessary infrastructure are provided in the country.
Modi's meeting with Amon is significant as India is looking at fast adoption of 5G technology in the country for which it is eyeing investment in this high technology area from credible partners who can provide safe and secure networks.
The San Diego, Calif.-based company creates semiconductors, software and services related to wireless technology and is getting big into 5G technology with its range of pioneering products.
It is expected that high-level meetings would pave the way for big investment in the new tech area that is required to help the country leapfrog to providing its citizens with the next generation of networking services.
The prime minister also met Shantanu Narayen, Indian American chairman, president and CEO of Adobe. The discussions focused on leveraging technology to provide smart education to youngsters and enhance research. They also discussed the vibrant startup sector in India, powered by the youth of the country.
"PM Modi believes that technology is the way to help things move forward," Narayen said after the meeting, adding that the company intends to continue to invest heavily in India.
The CEO of FirstSolar, Mark Widmar, also called on Modi. During the meeting, Modi elaborated India's efforts to harness solar energy, including the 'One world, One sun and One grid' initiative and investment opportunities in the sector.
"The strong balance created between India's industrial and trade policies has built ideal opportunities for companies like FirstSolar to establish manufacturing in India. The productivity linked incentive schemes will help India attract more investment in manufacturing from the US," Widmar said.
Modi’s discussions with Vivek Lall of General Atomics Global Corporation hovered around India's strides in drone technology, including the reforms and the PLI scheme.
"There are lots of potential areas of collaboration that we are in discussions with. The opportunities are a win win for both the countries," Lall said.
India is in the process of procuring a significant number of drones for the three branches of its armed forces. It has also leased a few drones from General Atomics.
ANI adds from Washington: Modi and Narayen also discussed Adobe's ongoing activities in India and their future investment plans.
Ideas to leverage the Digital India flagship program in sectors like health, education and R&D were also discussed.
"PM Modi believes that technology is the way to help things move forward," Narayen later said.
Lall described the meeting as "outstanding.” "We spoke about technology and the confidence in the policy reforms that are coming in India and the great potential that India has from an investment perspective," he said.
Lall said U.S. companies see India as an attractive investment destination.
"There are a lot of potential areas of collaboration that we're in discussions with. I think U.S. companies and many of my colleagues in U.S. companies see India as a very promising destination," Lall said.
Referring to the new drone policy, he said these are very laudable policies, prescriptions and reforms that the prime minister and his government have taken.
"I think that will certainly catalyze a lot of interest and investments in India," he said.