Modi meets Adobe, Qualcomm CEOs on first day of U.S. visit

Prime Minister, U.S. President to discuss Afghan situation, terror.

September 23, 2021 07:28 am | Updated September 27, 2021 09:14 pm IST - Washington

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by members of Indian diaspora in Washington D.C. on September 22, 2021.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by members of Indian diaspora in Washington D.C. on September 22, 2021.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off his first visit to the U.S. in two years, with meetings with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in the morning and bilateral meetings with Vice-President Kamala Harris and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan and Scott Morrison of Australia scheduled for the afternoon.

Mr. Modi’s motorcade arrived at the Willard Intercontinental, a short distance from the White House, just before 7.30 p.m. on a wet and windy fall evening in Washington. On Thursday morning, he met with the CEOs of five companies that have invested in India or have significant investment potential: semiconductor and wireless technology manufacturer Qualcomm, renewable energy company First Solar, software company Adobe, energy systems and arms manufacturer General Atomics, and investment management company the Blackstone Group.


The main events for his DC trip, however, are Friday’s bilateral talks with U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss India’s ‘Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’, and a Quad summit with Mr. Biden, Mr. Suga and Mr. Morrison.

Mr. Modi and Mr. Biden will discuss a range of issues, including Afghanistan and counter-terrorism. They are also expected to discuss trade and climate cooperation.

Also read: Quad summit and main issues on its agenda

Technology, energy and defence were the focus of Mr. Modi’s talks with industry heads on Thursday. Mr. Modi discussed technology, especially artificial intelligence, at the meeting with Adobe, according to Shantanu Narayen, the company’s head. Their discussion also included the “ever changing nature of media” and start-ups, he said.

Mr. Modi’s discussion with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon included semiconductors and 5G technology.

“If you look at it from a year-on-year basis, American investments coming into India is growing substantially. India needs $100 billion investment annually to achieve its objective of being a $5 trillion economy. At the moment, the number is close to $70-75 billion annually, so the appetite is tremendous, and it is tied closely to the de-risking of supply chains from China and as the economic prosperity of India increases, so does the allure of the Indian market and hence the alacrity of American investors,” said Mukesh Aghi, president and CEO, U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum.

On the importance of the Quad summit, Mr. Aghi said, “It is significant because to preserve the freedom of global rules and laws of operations, it is important that the four democracies coalesce and support each other, and they are collaborating on areas of alternative technology, on de-risking of supply chains, on healthcare, on 5G technology, on cybersecurity, so it is a collaboration that is a win-win situation for the world itself.”

Mr. Modi will not have large diaspora events due to COVID-19 measures.

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