Modi urges CEOs to leverage ‘Startup India’ platforms
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has urged global CEOs and top American executives to leverage the ‘Startup India’ innovation platforms to formulate solutions for the entire world on challenging issues like nutrition and waste management. Chairing an exclusive roundtable with 42 global CEOs and top executives from across 20 sectors, Modi on Wednesday stressed on continued political stability in India, predictability of policy, and pro-development and pro-growth policies. He emphasised the development of tourism, plastic recycling and waste-management initiatives, and to enhance the business of MSMEs, especially those which create more opportunities for farmers and agriculture. “Captains of industry interact with PM Narendra Modi in New York. The extensive agenda includes harnessing investment opportunities in India and boosting commercial linkages between India and USA,” the PMO said in a tweet. “Prime Minister at the CEO Roundtable in New York highlighted the steps taken by India to build a USD 5 trillion economy. Global business community is upbeat about the India success story,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. The CEOs appreciated the efforts made by India in striving towards ease of doing business and many reforms that have led to a conducive environment for investors. They also lauded Narendra Modi for taking strong decisions and making India more investor-friendly.“The leaders also mentioned that their companies remained committed to the growth story of India and, on the back of this, continued to grow their footprint in India,” an official statement said after the meeting. The CEOs briefly outlined their specific plans in India and put forth recommendations to aid India’s efforts towards skill development, Digital India, Make in India, inclusive growth, green energy and financial inclusion. The companies that participated in the roundtable had a combined net worth of USD 16.4 trillion, of which their net worth in India is USD 50 billion.The CEOs Roundtable was attended by IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty, President and CEO of Walmart Douglas McMillon, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola James Quincey, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, JP Morgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, CEO of American Tower Corporation and co-chair of the India-US CEO forum James Taiclet, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga and Senior Executives from Apple, Google, Marriott, VISA, 3M, Warburg Pincus, AECOM, Raytheon, Bank of America and Pepsi. Modi “urged the companies to leverage the Startup India innovation platforms in partnership with other countries to make solutions not only for India, but for the world, including challenging issues like nutrition and waste management,” the statement said. AMID reports that Saudi Aramco is set to announce its IPO next month, which would be the world’s largest ever listing, India would be looking to expedite the $44 billion West Coast refinery project in Maharashtra, in which Saudi Aramco is to hold considerable stake, as well Reliance Industries Ltd $15 billion deal with the Saudi oil giant to sell 20 per cent stake in its flagship chemicals and refining business. Despite the September 14 drone attack on the Abqaiq oil refinery and Khurais oil field, that knocked out half of Saudi Arabia’s total output and 5 per cent of global oil supply, Riyadh has assured India there will be no disruption in oil supplies.Global majors Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) had formed a joint venture with Indian state-run oil marketing companies – Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) – to hold 50 per cent stake in the Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals (RRPCL), known as the West Coast refinery project.However, issues of land acquisition have held up progress of the project, which are likely to be sorted out. The two deals are likely to be firmed up soon, and likely at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal intervention. He could make a brief stopover at Riyadh on his way back from the United Nations General Assembly to finalise the deals, which would be a big boost to India-Saudi ties. Saudi Arabia is the second largest supplier of crude and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to India.