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Thrust on biz meetings to attract investors to India

As officials put final touches to the Prime Minister’s US visit, it emerges he is starting with a meeting with a Nobel laureate, an oncologist, and ending with another, the president.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2014 00:14 IST
Yashwant Raj

As officials put final touches to the Prime Minister’s US visit, it emerges he is starting with a meeting with a Nobel laureate, an oncologist, and ending with another, the president.

Falling in between is a who’s who of US politics and business.

Modi meets his first Nobel winner, Harold Varmus, on Friday, within hours of arriving in New York.

Varmus, who won the Nobel jointly in 1989, heads the National Cancer Institute. The Washington Post said recently called him Janet Yellen, Fed chief, of cancer research.

There were no details available of why Modi sought out Varmus but there appears to be a pattern — he met Japan’s stem cell pioneer when he travelled there recently.

The prime minister’s two hand half days in New York are packed with a mix of events that closely track his priorities as laid out in recent speeches, specially the one on August 15.

The Madison Square Garden public reception by the Indian American community may dominate Modi’s New York leg because of the optics, it won’t define it.

The prime minister is having a slew of business meetings, in groups and individually, in an obvious attempt to bring foreign investors back to the country, after a dismal past few years.

The prime minister will engage with the business community once again in Washington DC, during his one-night stopover to meet President Barack Obama and some lawmakers.

Modi is scheduled to deliver a policy address at an event hosted by the US-India Business Council — which is likely to have a distinctively business/economic pitch.

Business and development is expected to figure significantly in the prime minister’s delegation-level meeting with President Obama at the White House on September 30.

In New York, the prime minister will meet Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor, billionaire and a major proponent of holistic urban development called Smart City.

The prime minister will have his fair share of political engagements — Bill and Hillary Clinton in New York, House speaker John Boehner and other lawmakers in DC.

As mentioned before, leaves for India on September 30 hours after his meeting with President Obama, also a Nobel laureate, winning it in 2009, for peace.

PM’s US visit schedule (Revised)

NEW YORK

September 26


Arrives, checks into New York Palace Hotel
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio pays him a courtesy call
Meets Harold Varmus, who was awarded a Nobel in 29189 for cancer research

September 27

Starts the day with a visit to Ground Zero and the 9/11 memorial
Addresses UN general assembly
Bilateral meetings, likely to attend a meeting of G-4 countries
Visit to Central Park for the Global Citizen Festival
Meets former New York City mayor and billionaire Micheal Bloomberg
Sees a group of Indian Americans to discuss the role of the community

September 28

South Carolina’s Indian-descent governor Nikky Haley calls on the prime minister at his hotel. No meeting is scheduled with the other indian-descent governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana.
Interacts with Indian American community at Madison Square Garden
Dinner in the evening at The Pierre, an upscale Manhattan hotel owned by India’s Taj group, hosted by Indian ambassador S Jaishankar

September 29

Meets a group of business leaders, followed by some one-on-one meetings with CEOs.
Receives Bill and Hillary Clinton
Delivers a policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Reaches DC, checks into checks into Blair House, where visiting state guests have traditionally been hosted by US presidents
A private dinner with President Barack Obama

September 30

Visits memorials of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King.
Pays respect at a statute of Mahatma Gandhi, outside the Indian Embassy and meets staff at the mission.
Meets President Obama for a delegation-level meeting
Formal lunch hosted by vice-president Joe Biden
House speaker John Boehner and other congressional leaders will meet the Prime Minister on Capitol Hill
Speaks at an event hosted by the US-India Business Council
Leaves for India