Narendra Modi woos top US executives with promise of being ‘open-minded’ | india | Hindustan Times
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Narendra Modi woos top US executives with promise of being ‘open-minded’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for big-ticket investments to develop India's infrastructure and create more jobs at a breakfast meeting with top US executives on Monday, saying the country was open-minded and ready for change. Indian, Israeli PMs meet for the first time in over a decade

india Updated: Sep 29, 2014 22:03 IST
HT Correspondent

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for big-ticket investments to develop India's infrastructure and create more jobs at a breakfast meeting with top US executives on Monday, saying the country was open-minded and ready for change.

Modi’s message to industry bigwigs in New York comes in the midst of his promises to make his country more attractive for doing business.

Addressing top executives, including Indian-origin PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Citigroup chief Michael Corbat, the PM spoke on the recent Supreme Court order cancelling more than 200 coal block allocations due to illegalities, a move that has added to an environment of policy uncertainty in India after the earlier scrapping of 2G telecom spectrums.

“(We) want to convert the Supreme Court judgement on coal allocation into an opportunity to move forward & clean up the past,” Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs tweeted, quoting the Prime Minister as saying.

Modi also discussed steps that can be taken to enhance India's business environment.

"India is open-minded. We want change. Change that is not 1 sided. Am discussing with citizens, industrialists & investors," another of Akbaruddin’s tweets, quoting the Prime Minister, said."

Read:Narendra Modi takes centre stage at Madison Square; bag of goodies for Indian diaspora

The country had also failed to pass key economic reform laws in the last few years of the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance government, a problem Modi promised to tackle after coming to power in an absolute majority.

"Infrastructure development is a big opportunity; it creates jobs & enhances quality of life of our citizens," Modi told the CEOs.

Significantly, all companies already have considerable presence in India and their chiefs are believed to have expressed intention to further expand their engagements with the Indian government and enhance their business presence in the country.

Those present at the breakfast meeting also included Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Cargill's President and CEO David W MacLennan, Caterpillar's Douglas Oberhelman, AES' Andres Gluski, Merck's Kenneth Frazier, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Carlyle Group David Rubenstein, Hospira's Michael Ball and Warburg Pincus' Charles Kaye.

Read: Modi moves to resurrect India lobby

The over one-hour-long breakfast meet was followed by one-on-one meetings with six CEOs of Boeing, KKR, BlackRock, IBM, General Electric and Goldman Sachs.

This is the first extensive business engagement in the US of the Prime Minister, who will also attend business meets in Washington tomorrow during his second leg of the 5-day visit.

Read: Nikki Haley meets Modi, discusses economic development

Read: Indian, Israeli PMs meet for the first time in over a decade