Must-know investment pledges to India from Fortune 500 CEOs

Surbhi Jain - Author

Nov. 26 2019, Updated 5:18 p.m. ET

Modi’s breakfast meet

During his five-day visit to the U.S. in late September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met 17 CEOs from 11 Fortune 500 American firms, presiding over $10 trillion in assets or revenues, over breakfast. Some of these leaders included PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi, Google Inc. (GOOG) chairman Larry Page, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, MasterCard CEO Ajaypal Singh Banga, co-founder and co-CEO of Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein, General Electric Company (GE) Chief Jeff Immelt, International Business Machine Corp. (IBM) CEO Virginia Rometty, and Boeing Co (BA) CEO James McNerney.

The group spoke about how these companies and India could benefit from investment flow into the country. Modi sought investment pledges from many of these CEOs, who were impressed with what India had to offer.

In addressing concerns about India’s unpredictable tax regime, Modi assured CEOs that he’s committed to a stable tax regime, which he regards as necessary for investment inflow.

Key investment pledges

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  • Certain CEOs talked about wanting to invest in India’s food chain and agriculture-related sectors
  • Others were eager to invest in infrastructure and energy, especially after the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict that canceled about 214 coal block allocations in the country due to irregularities. The cancellation of coal blocks in India may lead to increased demand for imported coal, which would be good for energy firms in the U.S.
  • Over $0.5 billion in investment to set up a manufacturing facility in India to produce injectable drugs
  • The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, Inc. (BLK), committed to hosting a global investors meetng in India in 2015. The firm also assured Modi that it could facilitate investments worth over $6 billion to the country by early next year

In the next part of this series, you’ll find out why asset managers including BlackRock and KKR & Co may be investing in India’s growth next year.


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