“They each lead a billion people worldwide, and drew crowds, worship and controversy while here”, Times said.
The effect of their visits can not be overstated.
Pankaj Mishra is a Bloomberg View columnist, author and commentator.
For many people, including me, Pope Francis is a thought-provoking figure. I question his economic logic while admiring his caring heart and good intentions.
Certainly the pontiff’s aspiration to feed the world is honorable, but the people who take the risk to plant the seeds and work hard to harvest the crops are not to blame for the hungers that exist.
He said that while India has been a very conscious society in terms of personal hygiene, social hygiene had been neglected. Now people, especially in India, will want to see proper execution and implementation of those accords.
“President Xi’s visit to India in September 2014 and my visit to China in May 2015 covered significant ground in advancing our partnership”.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi was visiting the USA, we went on an ECFR study trip to New Delhi to ask ‘What does India think?’. In any case, these are not issues that Modi is not aware of. Many business leaders are starting to grow impatient about the slowness of his government’s ability to eliminate investment hurdles.
USA business leaders seek to capitalize on this growth. Morgan Stanley estimates that the country is at least seven years behind China when it comes to Internet penetration and online shopping.
Rajat Gandhi, Founder of Fairassets, says, “India still levies Angel Tax, which first made its appearance in the Budget about a couple of years back”. In just the past two years, the adoption of smartphones has jumped to 168 million, with estimates of 277 million internet users overall. This means there’s huge upside indeed. His recent visit to Silicon Valley, interaction with the CEOs of tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco and signing of seven MoUs between India and the U.S. speak out loud about how much he is influenced by the disruptive startups in India.
He met privately with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Adobe’s Shantanu Narayan, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Cisco’s John Chambers among others. India has over eight lakh users under the Internet.org initiative.
Facebook has continued to defend the initiative that offers free access to basic internet services to consumers. India is the second-largest and fastest growing market for the company. The India brand was at an all-time high, with the world slowly regaining its faith in India after the decline during the dying years of the United Progressive Alliance. To paraphrase the prime minister, those who do not want to change will become irrelevant in the 21st century.
India and the US, once described as two “distant democracies”, have come a long way.
As news of Prime Minister Narendra Modi crying at the Facebook Headquarters in Palo Alto, California spread like wildfire in India. He also announced the introduction of cloud computing based intelligence systems that aim to ‘drive creativity, efficiency and productivity across governments and businesses of all sizes.’ This would, he surmised, ‘drive more affordable products and services and access to opportunity to all of India’.
In the picture above, you can see a seated Modi surrounded by powerful Fortune 500 executives such as Citigroup’s Michael O’Neill, PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, Lockheed Martin’s Marilyn Hewson, Boeing’s Bertrand-Marc Allen and many more. “This has to be our programme”, he said.
In our quarterly earnings webcast, I mentioned the importance of staying abreast of government policy changes and the latest purchasing manager’s index (PMI) numbers. If our investors begin to invest in India, foreign investors will follow. The leaders established an annual high-level Intellectual Property (IP) Working Group which will hold “appropriate decision- making and technical-level meetings” as part of the Trade Policy Forum. This is the positive, constructive sign that demand for commodities is picking up, and we’ll be looking for it.