Modi to meet at least 17 top US business honchos during visit

24 September 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a breakfast meeting with the chief executives of several Fortune 500 companies during his visit to the US later this week, including top bosses from Google, Boeing, IBM, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard and Pepsi, according to the ministry of external affairs.

In all, the Indian PM is expected to meet the heads of 17 large global corporations. A group of 11 top execs including Google's Eric Schmidt, Citigroup's Michael Corbat, Carlyle Group co-CEO David Rubenstein, Cargill's David MacLennan, Merck's Kenneth Frazier, farm equipment maker Caterpillar's Dough Oberhelman, MasterCard's Ajay Banga and Pepsico's Indra Nooyi will meet Modi on 29 September.

Six others have a one-on-one appointment with Modi. These include Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfein, Boeing's James McNerney, BlackRock's Laurence Fink, IBM's Ginni Rometty, General Electric's Jeff Immelt and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) co-chairmen and CEOs Henry Kravis and George Roberts, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akaruddin said on Tuesday.

These high-profile meetings come at a time when the new government is trying to hard sell India as a global manufacturing hub. PM Modi's "Make in India" campaign, which will be launched on Thursday, aims to promote export-oriented manufacturing, heavy infrastructure building and urbanisation.

Over the past decade, gross foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into India have averaged less than 2 per cent of GDP. The new government has slightly liberalised the defence and insurance sectors to attract foreign investment; but it is widely believed that the sops offered are too few to attract foreign majors.

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