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PM Modi to Hard Sell India Story to Fortune 500 CEOs in US Visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet CEOs of several Fortune 500 companies during his maiden visit to the US later this week. The visitors' list will comprise of top bosses from Google, Boeing, IBM, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard and Pepsi, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.
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File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet CEOs of several Fortune 500 companies during his visit to the US later this week. The visitors' list will comprise of top bosses from global bigwigs such as Google, Boeing, IBM, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard and Pepsi, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.

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

Six others have a one-on-one appointment with PM 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, said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

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.

(Also read: PM Modi's 'Make in India' Push to Drive Investments, Create Jobs)

The ambitious plan aims to push manufacturing growth to 10 per cent per year, but needs massive investment, part of which is likely to come from global corporates willing to set up factories in the country.

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 liberalised defense manufacturing and insurance sectors to attract FDI, but analysts say the government needs to do much more to attract foreign capital.

In all, India's gross investment rate will have to go up from 31 per cent of GDP in 2013-14 to 38-40 per cent of GDP for tangible results over the next five years, Deutsche Bank estimates.



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