Surgical strikes prove India can defend itself: Modi

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He started out a bit slow and was seemingly exhausted from his travels across time zones, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon got into the rhythm, showering Indian Americans with his government's achievements and highlighting precisely the moves that would excite the crowd. He said a young population and a rising middle class are among factors, which generate global interest in the Indian economy, especially in areas such as manufacturing, trade and commerce, and people to people contacts.

Modi said India had attracted the largest amount of Foreign Direct Investment in the last three years owing to the National Democratic Alliance government's policies.

The CEOs lauded the Prime Minister's initiatives of demonetisation and digitisation of economy and the GST, the spokesman said.

He also spoke of the surgical strikes carried out by India recently.

Modi said India has always followed the path of development within the confines of the global order and rule of law.

The Indian leader earlier met the heads of 20 USA companies, including Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai.

"Implementation of the landmark initiative of GST could be a subject of studies in U.S. business schools", he said, referring to the upcoming mammoth rollout effort.

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"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.

During the hour-long interaction, at the Willard Hotel, where he is staying, Modi gave a patient hearing to the wish-list of the CEOs. They also mentioned social initiatives being undertaken by their companies in India, in spheres such as women empowerment, digital technology, education and food processing.

Prime Minister Modi will next meet United States President Donald Trump and would be the first world leader to have a working dinner with the latter at the White House.

Further, officials said, the PM called for cooperation among startups for bringing in innovation to "tap the huge education and vocational training potential in India". "This shows India can take big decisions and implement them swiftly", he said.

They pointed out that a 2017 World Bank report had ranked India 130th out of 190 countries for ease of doing business.

"But the External Affairs Ministry and Sushma Swaraj have set the best example of how a department can be strengthened through its use", PM Modi said in his address to the Indian diaspora during a community event in Virginia.

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