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Trump hosts 'true friend' Modi for first one-on-one

26 June 2017

The meeting between the off-the-cuff President and the prime minister who leads one of the world's fastest growing economies will be filled with contentious issues, but none may be more challenging than how the United States treats India like a "major defense partner" - a designation the Obama administration gave the country in 2016 - without angering neighboring Pakistan.

Among the CEOs in attendance were Mastercard (MA) CEO Ajay Banga, JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson.

There is much speculation and anticipation around the first meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

But there was no sign of tension at Sunday's roundtable meeting with executives. Always impressed, energized by optimism and invention in India.

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"The transformation of India presents abundant commercial and investment opportunities for American businesses".

State and Union Territory GST laws were passed by all the states and Union Territories of India except Jammu & Kashmir, paving the way for a smooth rollout of the tax regime from July 1.

Ahead of Modi's visit to Washington, Tillerson had said that the trip would strengthen the Indo-US relationship and help advance the common interest in fighting terrorism and promoting economic growth.

Referring to the bilateral trade, Modi said that the two way trade, which already totals about $115 billion a year, is poised for a multi-fold increase. Google, Facebook and Microsoft, meanwhile, are all racing to bring hundreds of millions of Indians onto the internet. This comes as Lockheed Martin (LMT) seeks a government contract to build F-16 fighter jets for the Indian air force. Corruption has been a main issue stymieing progress of our country. He tweeted earlier this month that the electric carmaker is "in discussions" with the Indian government to temporarily relax some of those restrictions.

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Although Modi's two-day Washington visit, which began Sunday, is lower key than his previous three trips to the USA since he took office in 2014, there will be plenty opportunity for face time with Trump. But rules mandating that foreign retailers must source almost a third of their materials locally have restricted the company to running wholesale distribution centers only.

The Prime Minister spoke of the recent reforms, and noted that the Union Government alone has initiated 7,000 reforms.

Trump built a Trump Tower property in Mumbai and spoke warmly of India during his presidential campaign past year.

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