PM Modi meets business leaders, assures of ‘continued political stability’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed continued political stability and predictability of policies in India at a round table with the CEOs and top executives of top American companies, including those from Walmart, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Coca Cola, MasterCard and Marriott.
While overwhelmingly optimistic about their outlook for India, the business executives had sought further action on ease of doing business and innovations, Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary of department for promotion of industry and internal trade, told reporters.
Leaders of IT companies raised the issue of data localization and asked for a distinction to be made between personal data and business data of consumers. The prime minister assured them no decision will be taken without detailed discussion of the issues involved.
In general, Prime Minister Modi underscored “continued political stability, predictability of policy, and pro-development and pro-growth policies”, the government said in a statement. Modi further emphasized the development of tourism, plastic recycling and waste management initiatives, and to enhance the business of MSMEs, especially those which create more opportunities for farmers and agriculture.
He went on to urge the “companies to leverage the Startup India innovation platforms in partnership with other countries – to make solutions not only for India, but for the world, including challenging issues like nutrition and waste management”.
Those who attended the roundtable included IBM’s Ginni Rometty, Walmart’s Douglas McMillon, Coca Cola’s James Quincey, Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson, JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, and American Tower Corporation’s James D. Taiclet.
Officials said the combined worth of the companies represented was $16.4 trillion, of which their net worth in India is US$ 50 billion.
USIBC’s Nisha Biswal told MSN after the meeting, “They talked about how a continued path on fiscal reforms and continued progress on the ease of doing business can really help advance India’s economic growth. And I think the Prime Minister listened with a lot of attention to those issues and responded to a number of those areas and talked about how he is looking to continue that reform process as he goes into his second term.”