Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches Washington, kicking off his official visit to the United States. He interacts with leading American CEOs from five different key sectors.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his engagements in the US on Thursday by meeting with leading American CEOs from five different key sectors. He held one-on-one meetings with CEOs of Qualcomm, Adobe, First Solar, General Atomics and Blackstone.

PM Modi arrived at Washington DC earlier on Thursday and was greeted by groups of Indian Americans at the airport. Later at the hotel, he had an interaction with the members of the community.

PM Modi on Thursday met Vivek Lall, CEO of General Atomics—the makers of Predator drones—and discussed India’s strides in drone technology, including the path-breaking reforms and PLI scheme.

“Discussing a subject of the future, which has captured the imagination of the present. Mr Vivek Lall of @GeneralAtomics Global Corporation interacted with PM @narendramodi. They discussed India’s strides in drone technology, including the path-breaking reforms and PLI scheme,” the PMO said in a tweet.

Lall described the meeting as “outstanding”. “We spoke about technology and the confidence in the policy reforms that are coming in India and the great potential that India has from an investment perspective,” he said.

Lall said US companies see India as an attractive investment destination. “There are a lot of potential areas of collaboration that we’re in discussions with. I think US companies and many of my colleagues in US companies see India as a very promising destination,” Lall said.The Prime Minister met with Blackstone’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stephen Schwarzman in Washington DC and discussed ongoing projects and further investment opportunities in India.

“India remains an attractive investment destination! PM @narendramodi met Mr. Stephen Schwarzman, CEO @blackstone. Discussed ongoing projects and further investment opportunities in India, including under the National Infrastructure Pipeline and National Monetisation Pipeline,” said Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.

Blackstone started operations in India in 2006 and has so far invested around $15 billion across sectors such as private equity, real estate, education, fashion, packaging and housing finance. Blackstone Real Estate Fund is the largest owner of commercial real estate in India.

The company played a key role in launching India’s first real estate investment trust (REIT) along with its partner Embassy Group in 2019 and has since then launched two REITs in the country.

Talking about the company’s plans in India, Schwarzman said Blackstone is planning another $40 billion of assets over the next five years. “I had a very good meeting with the Prime Minister. I told him that Blackstone had already invested $60 billion in assets in India. And over the next five years, we’re planning another $40 billion of assets,” he said.

PM Modi also had a productive discussion with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayan, sources said. According to sources, Shantanu Narayan appreciated the efforts of India in fighting Covid-19 and particularly in the rapid vaccination. The Adobe CEO 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

The Prime Minister had a good meeting with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon and noted that India has the scale for ambitious projects, sources said.

Amon expressed enthusiasm to work with India on ambitious digital transformation programmes including in 5G, PM WANI and others. He also expressed interest in partnering with India to work in the field of semiconductors. The sources said 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. Sources said PM Modi assured Qualcomm that India will proactively work on the proposals made by them.

They said the Prime Minister stressed that India has the scale for ambitious projects. He said that India has prepared 5G standards and urged Qualcomm to actively participate as they did in the case of NAVIK.

Later in the day, PM Modi met his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison.