Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington DC late on Wednesday for a three-day visit to the US. On his visit, Modi will interact with US President Joe Biden, attend the maiden in-person summit of Quad heads of government and address the UN General Assembly.
Modi arrived at the Joint Base Andrews air force facility where he was greeted by a crowd of Indian-Americans. ANI reported, “Upon his arrival at the airport, he was received by US Department of State officials including T H Brian McKeon, US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, at Joint Base Andrews in Washington DC. He was welcomed by India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, along with the Defence attache, including Brigadier Anoop Singhal, Air Commodore Anjan Bhadra and naval attache Commodore Nirbhaya Bapna.”
After his arrival, Modi interacted with members of the Indian-American community at a hotel.
On Thursday, Modi is scheduled to meet US Vice President Kamala Harris at the Eisenhower Executive Office building. According to reports, the meeting is expected to happen around afternoon (local time) and will last an hour. Ahead of his departure to the US, Modi had said, “I am also looking forward to meeting Vice President Kamala Harris to explore opportunities for cooperation between our two nations particularly in the area of science and technology.”
Also on Thursday, Modi is scheduled to hold one-on-one meetings with CEOs of five US companies. Two of them are Indian-Americans—Shantanu Narayen from Adobe and Vivek Lall from General Atomics. The three others are Cristiano E. Amon from Qualcomm, Mark Widmar from First Solar and Stephen A. Schwarzman from Blackstone.
While Narayen reflects the IT and digital priority that the Indian government is pushing for, Modi’s meeting with Lall is significant as General Atomics is not only the pioneer in military drone technologies but also the world’s top manufacturer of state-of-the-art military drones, which the US shares only with its key allies and partners. India is in the process of procuring a significant number of drones for the three branches of its armed forces. It has also leased a few drones from General Atomics.
Jakarta-born Vivek Lall, now based out of California, for over a decade has been instrumental in major bilateral defence deals worth around $18 billion, as India and the US take steps to forge a new relationship in which defence trade is a key pillar.
The meeting with Cristiano Amon assumes significance, given India’s push for the 5G technology to be safe and secure. The San Diego-based company creates semiconductors, software and services related to wireless technology.
A world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technology innovations for more than 30 years, Qualcomm is now pioneering its way to 5G with a new era of intelligent products that are revolutionising industries, including automotive, computing and IoT.
India is looking for a major investment from Qualcomm.
As India is taking gigantic steps in the use of solar power to meet its energy needs, the meeting with Mark Widmar is important as First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar solutions, which use its advanced module and system technology. Early this summer, the Arizona-based company announced to add 3.3 GW of capacity in a new facility in India at an estimated cost of $684 million.
Stephen A. Schwarzman is chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms investing capital on behalf of pension funds, large institutions and individuals.
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