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US CEOs meet Indian Prime Minister in State Visit
Top US Corporate Executives make it a Priority to Meet Prime Minister of India
As China's economy declines, several top US corporate executives are attending the state dinner hosted by the White House for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Among those high profile figures, are CEOs from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and FedEx. The CEOs of Marriott and Cummins will also attend the dinner. The occasion is a first for India, and viewed by India as a significant achievement. Former US Ambassador to India, Frank Wisner, commented that "the opportunity is huge. The administration is going all out to give the prime minister a close to royal welcome."
The Biggest Deal—General Electric’s Co-Production of Military Engines for India
General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics will announce a major deal concerning co-production of military jet engines in India. According to Safiya Ghori-Ahmad of the Atlantic Council, "strengthening of US-India defense and security ties will likely be a major outcome for the trip, especially around issues of critical technology sharing and defense equipment IP." CNBC has learned that General Atomics is also close to finalizing a deal to provide new drones to New Delhi.
US and India Share a Common Interest in Managing the Rise of Chinese Power
Political tensions between China and the US remain high, and corporate America is now beginning to take steps to diversify away from the country. Apple has opened two retail stores in India, and CNBC previously reported that the company is also looking to move some of its iPad production from China to India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hopes to ease US concerns and encourage more US companies to commit to manufacturing in his country.
Meeting with US Tech Leaders and Discussing China
Separately, a meeting is expected between the Indian Prime Minister and US tech leaders. Discussions regarding technology transfer and finding ways to diversify away from China will take place. Modi previously met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk to discuss opening a factory in the country. General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics are expected to announce their deal co-producing military jet engines.
Diversifying Business Away from China
Concerns stemming from China's slowing economy have been a catalyst for companies seeking to diversify their operations. US-based companies face challenges in expanding business to India, including a lack of skilled labor and infrastructure. Even with these challenges, the Indian Prime Minister desires for more US companies to commit to manufacturing in his country.
The state visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought together a group of high-powered US corporate executives to discuss business opportunities and ways to manage the rise of China's power. The visit has led to discussions that include critical technology sharing and defense equipment IP. It has also led to the announcement of a major deal between General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics that will involve co-production of military jet engines in India, which could lead to further deals in defense and security.
For new businesses seeking to expand their operations, the visit of the Indian Prime Minister provides an opportunity to take a close look at the potential opportunities in India. These opportunities may come with significant challenges, including a lack of skilled labor and infrastructure. However, with the Indian Prime Minister signaling his willingness to work with US companies to encourage more manufacturing in his country, businesses that are willing to invest the time and resources to overcome these challenges could find themselves in a prime position to benefit from the opportunities presented by the intersection of the two countries. In this sense, the visit of the Indian Prime Minister represents an important turning point in US-India business relations that can provide a wealth of opportunities for businesses that are willing to take a chance.