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This was the first meeting between PM Modi and US President Donald Trump, who took office earlier this year. Modi pulled in Trump for a bear hug on the stage as the cameras rolled in the Rose Garden.

Modi recalled how he told the US Congress in June 2016 that the bilateral relationship had overcome the "hesitations of history". "I am sure that under your leadership a mutually beneficial strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positivity, and will reach new heights". While Trump champions the idea of "America First" and wants to stop the migration of jobs overseas, Modi has his own drive to boost manufacturing at home, dubbed "Make in India".

SoftBank and Alibaba have pumped close to $2 billion into Paytm lately while India's original online retailer, Flipkart, won the backing of prestigious trio Microsoft, eBay and China's Tencent via a recent $1.4 billion investment. He said the president's "vast and successful experience in the business world will lend an aggressive and forward-looking agenda to our relations".

Exports to the USA provide India its largest surplus with a trading partner - more than $24 billion in 2016 - for a country that ran a $105 billion trade deficit that year.

He expressed pleasure about an order by an Indian airline company for 100 new American planes, calling it one of the largest orders of it is kind, which will support thousands and thousands of American jobs.

"If the chemistry is good, everything else gets sorted", said an Indian official.

"Thank you very much", Trump said as he opened the meeting with Modi and an accompanying delegation.

New Delhi is also closely watching the administration's review of the H1B visa program, under which thousands of skilled Indian workers come to the US.

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Trump also said that he is keen to work with PM Modi to remove "barriers" in trade between the two countries. -Indian relations despite differences over trade, the Paris climate accord and immigration. He forged a strong relationship with President Barack Obama, and on his last visit in June 2016, he addressed Congress and described the U.S. as an "indispensable partner". "I am extremely grateful to them", he said.

Their White House session promises less pomp than Modi's previous visits to Washington, which included former President Barack Obama taking him to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in 2014.

The visiting Prime Minister presented a hamper containing a traditional, handcrafted Himachali silver bracelet, tea and honey from Kangra valley, and hand-woven shawls from Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh to First Lady Melania Trump. "The only way is up".

"Much bureaucratic china within the United States government had to be broken to get to this decision", he said.

Trade, however, remains an irritant, and on Saturday, leading US congressmen complained in a letter to Trump that high-level engagement had failed to eliminate major barriers to USA imports and investment and had not deterred India from imposing new ones.

Therefore, Modi, for all the dole-outs being given to the U.S., must keep India's demands focussed on the need for a liberal visa regime.

They stress the importance of the huge Indian market to US firms and major growth in areas such as aviation, which offer significant opportunities for USA manufacturers.