Modi invites United States business, says GST will ease way

India has been successful in convincing the world about the "face of terrorism" and that it was "destroying peace and normal life", Modi said ahead of his first meeting with US President Donald Trump, who had reportedly offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue drawing sharp reactions from New Delhi.

Modi's two-day visit to Washington, which starts last Sunday, takes place amid uncertainty over the relationship because of differences on trade and other issues.

Trump has so far focused on outreach to China, India's strategic rival, as he looks to Beijing to rein in nuclear-armed North Korea.

A proposed overhaul of H-1B visas - used by thousands of Indian software engineers to work in the United States - has also caused concern in New Delhi.

India reportedly wants the drones for surveillance of the Indian Ocean-waters that China's navy increasingly traverses after establishing its first overseas base in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti.

The American president is also likely not to thrilled by the fact that India has a $24 billion trade surplus with the US.

Among US goods affected were solar and information technology products, telecommunications equipment and biotechnology products, they said.

"CEOs outline priorities in India and suggestions for mutually beneficial partnerships in line with inclusive growth", he said, adding that they reaffirmed their commitment to growing with India and attested to its attractiveness as an FDI destination.

Puneet Ahluwalia, who had been a member of then presidential candidate Trump's Asian Advisory Committee, said the meeting between Trump and Modi is the most anticipated meeting between two leaders for the Indo-Asia Pacific region in regards to stability, addressing terrorism & defence.

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India does not have a formal alliance with the U.S., but defense ties have intensified in recent years with joint drills between the two militaries and defense sales.

"We are bound by worldwide law because that is our character and nature. But, there is much more that we can do to increase the flow of goods, services, capital and human resources between our two economies".

There could still be pushback from Congress.

"The creative and entrepreneurial energy of our engineers, scientists and researchers, and their free movement between both countries, continue to help India and the U.S. retain their innovation edge and maintain competitiveness in the knowledge economy". In a change of plans, the U.S. and India have changed their earlier stand of no questions allowed - instead, after a joint statement is issued on their meeting, each leader will take one question selected in advance. "We held extensive discussions on opportunities in India", PM Modi tweeted after the meeting that lasted for about 90 minutes.

The visit appears to be low key as there is no plan to address a joint press conference.

On May 21, in his first speech on foreign soil as president, Trump spoke at the Arab-Islamic-US summit in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh.

The other agreements signed are an India-Portugal space alliance, a protocol amending the double taxation avoidance agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, an MoU on Nano Technology, an MoU on Public Administration and governance reforms, an MoU on cultural cooperation, an MoU on biotechnology, and an MoU on a Portugal-India Business Hub.

The White House has been keen to dispel the notion that US ties with India are under strain after Mr. Trump publicly criticised India for trade barriers and wrongly blamed New Delhi for seeking to extract aid from the USA under the Paris climate deal.

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