AMERICAN President Donald Trump will meet heads of Indian companies with interests in the US, as he looks to drum up investments during his visit to New Delhi this month.
Trump is scheduled to make his first visit as president to India on February 24-25 during which he will travel to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat followed by talks in New Delhi. The two countries are trying to sign a trade deal during his visit.
A CEO’s roundtable will be organised to facilitate a meeting between the Trump and Indian corporate honchos in the national capital. Senior bureaucrats are also expected to attend the meeting, besides top executives from American corporations.
Billionaires, including Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Larsen and Toubro Chairman AM Naik and Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw are expected to attend the round-table meeting with Trump, said a source.
The US Embassy in New Delhi is coordinating the event, and the list of attendees has been shared with the White House for clearance. The Confederation of Indian Industry and US-India business bodies had suggested the names of Indian executives for the Trump meeting, which are being reviewed currently.
On February 25, a meeting is being planned between Trump and Indian executives, especially those focusing on job creation and manufacturing in the US.
Creating new jobs and boosting manufacturing is critical for Trump in his re-election bid later this year. American factory activity rebounded in January but only after it contracted for five straight months.
“President (Trump) is keen on acknowledging Indian companies which are focusing on manufacturing in the United States,” said a Washington-based source.
The US is a key market for several Indian firms.
The Mahindra Group last year said it will invest another $1 billion in the US and was committed to creating American jobs, while Bharat Forge has announced plans to invest $56 million to set up a new plant in North Carolina.
The $100-billion Tata Group says it is one of the largest Indian-headquartered multinationals in North America, with 13 companies and more than 35,000 employees.
The Confederation of Indian Industries and US-India trade groups have suggested several Indian executives for the Trump meeting and the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi was reviewing that, one source said, adding the final list was yet to be finalized.
The US Embassy in New Delhi declined to comment.
Other than his meeting with Indian business leaders and Modi, Trump is expected to attend an event at a stadium in Gujarat along the lines of the “Howdy, Modi!” extravaganza held in Houston last September during which the two leaders made a joint appearance.