Modi dreams business on US visit

modiTrade and investment, including focus on renewable energy, railways and the government’s “smart cities” project, would be high on the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the US that is expected to see him engaged in intensive talks with President Barack Obama in an effort to give a fillip to the flagging bilateral relationship.

“Business would be the focus of the prime minister’s visit,” an official source said.

The prime minister, who is expected to visit the US from Sep 26, would be holding a two-day summit meeting with the US president on Sep 29-30 in Washington.

With the Modi government keen to attract investment to boost a slowing economy and create jobs, the prime minister is expected to flag his pet smart cities project for investment, an official source said.

Modi has unveiled plans to set up 100 smart cities across the country to take away the pressure of urbanization from the big Metros.

Besides cooperation in infrastructure, the two sides are also expected to cooperate in the field of health, renewable energy, railways, environment and space, the source told IANS.

The US has repeatedly stressed that it is keen to give a fillip to ties, especially trade and investment, to take the bilateral trade figure from $100 billion to $500 billion in the near future.

Cooperation in the field of renewable energy is set to be a big ticket business, especially with the Modi government having announced its intent to focus in a big way on renewable sources of energy, including solar energy.

Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal has said in a recent interview that the government plans to get $100-billion investment in renewable energy in the next five years and become a world leader in the sector.

He has said that the Modi government is keen on generating a substantial part of electricity from clean sources like sun, wind, water and biomass.

On Sep 30, the fifth India-US Energy Summit is being inaugurated in Washington.

The two-day event being organised by TERI and Yale University and would be attended by top officials and energy experts from both the countries.

Modi, who would be in the city at the time, has been invited to address the meeting in renewable energy, which is a subject close to his heart.

Cooperation in railways and space is also likely to be on the anvil. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is likely to sign a space agreement with NASA.

The US is keen to court India, a country of over 1.2 billion people and an over $1.8 trillion economy.