Indian PM Modi meets tech CEOs as Washington visit concludes

Prime Minister Modi speaking at the State Department on June 23, 2023, with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. PHOTO: videograb from Twitter @PMOIndia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with U.S. and Indian technology CEOs in Washington on Friday, June 23, 2023, the final day of a state visit marked by pledges of deeper U.S.-India cooperation on areas including space, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

President Joe Biden rolled out the red carpet for Modi on Thursday, declaring after about 2 -1/2 hours of talks that their countries’ economic relationship was “booming.” Trade has more than doubled over the past decade.

Biden and Modi gathered with CEOs including Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

Also present were Sam Altman of OpenAI, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, and Indian tech leaders including Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, and Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, the White House said.

“Our partnership between India and the United States will go a long way, in my view, to define what the 21st century looks like,” Biden told the group, adding that technological cooperation would be a big part of that partnership.

Observing that there were a variety of tech companies represented at the meeting from startups to well established firms, Modi said: “Both of them are working together to create a new world.”

Modi, who has appealed to global companies to “Make in India,” will also address business leaders at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

The CEOs of top American companies, including FedEx, MasterCard and Adobe, are expected to be among the 1,200 participants.

Modi, who touted “a new chapter” in the countries’ “strategic partnership” at the White House on Thursday, is seeking to position India, the world’s most populous country at 1.4 billion and its fifth-largest economy, as a manufacturing and diplomatic powerhouse.

Modi attended a lunch at the State Department with Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Asian American to hold the No. 2 position in the White House, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In a toast, Harris spoke of her Indian-born late mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who came to the United States at age 19 and became a leading breast cancer researcher.

“I think about it in the context of the millions of Indian students who have come to the United States since, to collaborate with American researchers to solve the challenges of our time and to reach new frontiers,” Harris said.

Modi praised Shyamala Gopalan for keeping India “close to her heart” despite the distance to her new home, and called Harris “really inspiring.”

(Extracts from Reuters story)



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