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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met with leading American CEOs from five different key sectors, marking the onset of his engagements on the three-day US visit. 

Modi, who arrived here on Wednesday, held one-on-one meetings with CEOs of Qualcomm, Adobe, First Solar, General Atomics and Blackstone to highlight the economic opportunities in India.

Two of them are Indian-Americans - Shantanu Narayen from Adobe and Vivek Lall from General Atomics. Three others are Cristiano E Amon from Qualcomm, Mark Widmar from First Solar, and Stephen A Schwarzman from Blackstone.

"President & CEO of Qualcomm, Cristiano R Amon & PM Modi had a productive interaction. PM Modi highlighted the vast opportunities India offers. Amon expressed keenness to work with India in areas such as 5G and other Digital India efforts," the prime minister's office said after the meeting. 

Highlights of meeting 

After speaking with PM Modi, Widmar of First Solar said: “Clearly with his leadership and what he has done to create a really strong balance between industrial policy as well as trade policy, it makes it an ideal opportunity for companies like First Solar to establish manufacturing in India."

“His (PM Modi) commitment to ensuring domestic capabilities and ensuring long-term climate goals with a focus on energy independence and security, the alignment of what he is trying to achieve couldn't be better for companies looking to manufacture in India," he added. 

Widmar further applauded India's steps to tackle the climate crisis and said that if the country could emulate the measures, achieving the long-term climate goal objectives would not be an issue. 

Further, Amon also expressed enthusiasm to work with India on ambitious digital transformation programmes including in 5G, PM WANI and others. He expressed interest in partnering with India to work in the field of semiconductors.

As per news agency ANI, the Qualcomm CEO spoke about the incredible opportunities in India and added that India is a big market but "we also see India as a big export market".

He said that it's the right time for India to not only manufacture for the Indian market but also plan to serve the needs of other countries.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayan appreciated the efforts of India in fighting COVID-19 and particularly in the rapid vaccination.

He expressed interest to contribute to India's 75th anniversary of independence. He also expressed a desire to bring video, animation to every child in India.

Significance of meeting

As per news agency PTI, Narayen reflects the IT and digital priority that the Indian government is pushing for. 

However, 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 Lall, now based out of California, for over a decade has been instrumental in major bilateral defence deals worth around USD18 billion, as India and the US take steps to forge a new relationship in which defence trade is a key pillar.

The meeting with chip giant 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 Internet of Things (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 USD 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.

In March this year, Blackstone announced that funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate have acquired Embassy Industrial Parks from Warburg Pincus and Embassy Group, in one of India’s largest logistics transactions.

Meeting with Biden

US President Joe Biden will host PM Modi at the White House on 24 September, this is going to be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after Biden took over as the US President on 20 January.

With inputs from agencies.

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