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Modi Urges Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos to Invest in India More

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the photo bankIndia's Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 2, 2017.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 2, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged five US companies to commit greater investments in the country, presenting it as a more business-friendly destination. Experts, however, are of the view that any ties with the US will now have to factor in the Trump administration's economic priorities.

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Modi, in particular, pitched the goods and services tax (GST), set for roll-out from July 1, as the game-changing reform measure of his government and also a potential ‘subject of study' in US business schools.

Modi's meeting with top business leaders which included the likes of Apple's Tim Cook, Google's Indian-American CEO Sunder Pichai, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and many others come in the backdrop of growing economic uncertainty in both the US and India.

In the US, President Trump has been very vocal as well as actively pursuing policies to promote his "America First" and anti-immigrant stance. Until very recently, Trump named China and India as undue beneficiaries from the 2015 Paris climate change accord as he pulled the US out of the treaty.

In India, Modi's attempts to tackle black money and corruption through swapping of old currency notes or what is popularly called as demonetization as announced on November 8, has affected economic growth in the short-term and added to uncertainty.

In addition, US businesses continue to harbor discontent against India's intellectual property rights regime and slow pace of reforms.

In his meeting with US business magnates that lasted for 90 minutes, Modi tried to allay these concerns and held "extensive discussions on opportunities in India."

​Modi has also written an article in The Wall Street Journal, where he called the US and India as "reinforcing engines of growth and innovation".

He also said that "the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1 will, in a single stroke, convert India into a unified, continent-sized market of 1.3 billion people."

Gopal Baglay, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, also tweeted and said the GST could be a "subject of studies in US business schools".

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​But experts said that the Modi government must not forget that they are dealing with an administration in the US, which is pursuing a transactional agenda.

"Even the closest of US allies are under scrutiny from Washington and India can't have a one-sided affair anymore. We too will have to show the Trump administration what we can do for them in terms of creating business opportunities. The old way of doing business where the US will invest without thinking about benefits in return can no longer work as the politics in the US has changed a lot in these last few months," Harsh V. Pant, a distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and professor of international relations at King's College London, told Sputnik.

In fact, Pant may not be off the mark with Modi's WSJ article focusing on Indian businesses' contribution to the US, including in the Rust Belt, which contributed to Trump's victory in last November's election.

"Indian companies are adding value to the manufacturing and services sectors in the US, with total investments of approximately $15 billion and a presence in more than 35 states, including in the Rust Belt," Modi wrote.

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