New York . Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India arrived in America on his five-day visit on Tuesday. During this he will take part in the Quad Summit, give a speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations and will participate in a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House. This is Modi’s seventh visit to the US after assuming power in 2014, and his first meeting with Biden since assuming power. During an interview with CNN-News 18 regarding this meeting, American-Indian Business Council chief Nisha Desai Biswal told that the leaders of both the countries are very keen about this meeting. Biswal said that India hopes to expand economic and business opportunities between the two countries through this dialogue.
Edited excerpts from a conversation with Biswal
What concrete results are you expecting from this first personal bilateral meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden?
Both President Biden and Modi are very curious about this meeting. The two have spoken over the phone on several other occasions before this, and we saw them in the quad leader’s virtual meeting held this year as well. But this meeting is special for many reasons. First of all, as you saw in the global conference where the Prime Minister gave a speech and President Biden also talked about it. The cooperation between India and America in defeating the epidemic has been important for both the leaders and will be an important topic of conversation.
Apart from this, cooperation between the two countries in the fight against climate change will also be an important topic of conversation, John Kerry, the special envoy of the President of America on the subject of climate change, was also on a visit to India last week. Along with this bilateral meeting, the Quad meeting is also taking place, and the key point of this meeting will be mutual cooperation between India and the US, Australia and Japan, aimed at ensuring that advanced technology, climate and maritime sector are free , so that the four democracies have opportunities to do business in multiple directions and the Indo-Pacific remains open to all. Along with this, maintaining Indo-Pacific global security, prosperity will be an important aspect of this. This will be very important from the business point of view between the two countries.
We also hope that in the bilateral talks, talks will be held on increasing trade and economic opportunities between the two countries. In recent times, we have heard from India that they are interested in American investment and high level trade. I am hoping that perhaps a free trade agreement or a limited trade agreement between the two countries can begin to be explored.
As far as the trade deal is concerned, it was discussed even when former US President Donald Trump was there, but it could not be implemented, what were the obstacles during that time and do you think those obstacles will be removed now? ?
– Of course, we have had differences of opinion on trade and it is natural for such large economies to happen. But I also think we suffer from mismatched expectations about what priority we want in a trade deal. When America felt that the matter had been made, then India was not ready and when India was ready for it, America took steps. Some are hoping for big, some want small and slow. I think the time has come to put these things aside and focus on how we can improve our economies and policies and how we can achieve results because of it.
The US supports India to fulfill its strategic ambitions and aspirations. It needs to become a global economic power. And to become a global economic power, one has to be a part of the global economic system. For America, we need to overcome trade hiccups that have existed in previous administrations and perhaps even current ones. We need to be a leader in business and perhaps these talks are an opportunity for that.
Countries and companies have learned a great lesson from the Kovid-19 epidemic that they do not want to be too self-reliant on China, you would think that India can prove to be an alternative.
I think that talks about mitigating supply chain risks are not only happening in the White House or the Prime Minister’s Office, but from the American boardroom to the world, it is an important topic of conversation. When we talk about risk mitigation and supply chain, they have to talk about regionalization and diversification, we have to make sure that this supply chain gets a better environment in India and they invest here for a long time.
Supply chain is a big investment, so creating an environment and regulatory framework that gives them long-term stability is key to stopping companies. This is the right time for India to take a big step and we have already started it. India has taken several important steps in the PLI scheme in recent months to attract investment. Investors here are seeing stability in regulators, including a major move on retrospective tax liability. All these are the measures that create a confidence.
The CEOs of some companies are also going to meet Prime Minister Modi, what are his expectations. What is it that they expect or demand from India and can talk to the Prime Minister on that.
I think the Prime Minister is thinking about some important industries related to the future. Whether it is drone technology, General Atomics can also be discussed. Some companies about which I read in the newspaper. I think this list is very useful. Some companies that are associated with 5G, artificial intelligence, climate and clean energy technology. I think this indicates that the Prime Minister is preparing India for the economy of the future and the advanced technology that will drive global commerce in the years to come.
Just before the Quad Summit we heard that announcement called Ocas. This is a kind of military alliance, what do you think America is using different methods to counter China.
It is not appropriate for me to talk about what are the intentions or aspirations regarding America’s oaks. But I can tell you about the structure of the Quad, which was started when I was in government. It is meant not only as a strategic or security framework, but it is a platform where the four democracies of ours can share their views and build a broad-scale partnership. You must have seen earlier that the important point of the Quad meeting was climate, Kovid-19 and technology advancement. I think the topics in the Quad will continue to expand in this way and in the times to come, it will also include issues focused on education and Kovid. However, I think that the Quad is a forum where there is a lot of scope for dialogue based on the future economy, economic agenda based on digital principles, investment on technology. This is a topic that is very important for the Indo-Pacific countries in the coming years. You will see how the Quad grows in importance and develops in its areas.