Indian PM Modi visits Portugal on trip to meet with Trump

Posted June 25, 2017

The Modi-Trump summit, following in the footsteps of President Obama's two visits to India (including as the featured guest on Republic Day) and the Prime Minister's two previous visits to Washington (including his triumphal address in Congress last June), promises further progress on several fronts: military sales, including continued Indian production of U.S. hardware and eased restrictions on technology sharing; counterterrorism cooperation; and new understandings on India's strategic interests in Afghanistan and a frank assessment of Pakistan's destabilising role and links to terror.

"We will deliberate on means to intensify our cooperation in counter-terrorism and on other global issues of mutual interest", Modi said, adding that he was keen to interact with the Indian community in Portugal.

The agreements signed included cooperation in outer space, double taxation avoidance, nano technology, improving cultural ties, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, and Portugal-India business hub and Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Modi's two-day visit to Washington begins on Sunday.

As of Saturday morning, Trump had 32.7 million Twitter followers, with Modi clocking in at 31 million.

Trump praised Pakistan's Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as a "terrific guy" in a phone call between the two shortly after Trump's election in November, a conversation that is said to have raised concerns in India.

Referring to his visit to Portugal, Modi said he was looking forward to his meeting with Prime Minister Antonio Costa and there was significant potential for deepening bilateral trade and investment ties.

The briefing was the first substantive elaboration by the Trump administration of its India policy and the way forward.

"His first visit with Obama was more of a social event". We're really seeking to roll out the red carpet. With India, we're building that strategic partnership.

"We are pleased that the United States government has cleared the way for the sale of the MQ-9B Guardian to the Indian government", Linden Blue, CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which manufactures the UAV, told Defense News. So I think this is an area where I think they can expand that dialogue on what they can do to help the economy, help Afghanistan become more self-sufficiently financially.

Congressman Lists Lawmakers Concerns Surrounding Amazon's Acquisition Of Whole Foods
He didn't explain how the company culture would change, but did say, "There'll be leadership changes at Whole Foods Market ". Analysts say there's no reason to think Amazon's deal with Whole Foods will be limited to groceries.

Unlike the president, however, Modi enjoys widespread popularity at home, polls show.

India has time and again raised the issue of H-1B visa with the USA authorities and asked them to liberalise the visa regime as Indian companies contribute significantly to the American economy, PTI reported.

"They could either hit if off amazingly or fall out completely".

Yet Trump has been unpredictable with New Delhi so far.

India's role as a force of stability in Afghanistan came for effusive praise as did New Delhi's decision to adopt United Nations sanctions against North Korea, a country the Trump administration sees as a serious threat.

To be sure, Trump and Modi have never met before, but there's reason to believe that the president might find a friend in the prime minister.

"Thus, it is absolutely unfair to target Indian firms which are facing increasing pressure in the U.S. through different non-trade measures like visa fee and other unrelated levies", Assocham further said.

However, there have been no immediate changes to visa application or issuance procedures, so the administration was not in a position to kind of prejudge what the outcome of the review might be, the official said.

The US is the second largest market in the world for Indian IT companies as about 60% of their revenues from services exports come from America.

"The H-1B visa issue will be one of the issues on the table during the PM's visit", The Times of India reported quoting Trade Secretary Rita Teaotia, as saying.