India's Modi set to woo tech companies in Silicon Valley

India's Modi set to woo tech companies in Silicon Valley

By Yasmeen Abutaleb

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has documented his push to bring U.S. investments & jobs back to India on his Facebook & Twitter pages since landing in the United States this week, posting photos with the likes of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg & group shots with Fortune 500 CEOs.

This weekend, his followers can expect a flurry of photos with tech leaders as he visits Silicon Valley & is due to meet with executives from Google Inc, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc & Tesla Motors.

Much of his agenda, aimed at deepening ties with the U.S. tech sector, will moreover focus on connecting with Silicon Valley's Indian diaspora.

While Modi is likely to be received like a rock star in an area that is home to many of the world's biggest high-tech firms, some groups have protested his arrival & urged tech companies to boycott the visit.

The groups include Sikhs for Justice, which has called on its members to picket Facebook headquarters during a Facebook town hall, & the Alliance for Justice & Accountability.

Modi has been criticized for not doing enough to stop 2002 religious riots in the Indian state Gujarat that killed approximately 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, when he was chief minister of the state. He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

Modi is the first Indian leader to visit the U.S. West Coast in more than 30 years. His trip follows one by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met with several tech leaders in Seattle earlier this week.

The Indian leader has said he sees the digital economy as crucial to bringing more growth & tech jobs to India.

Modi boasts an average 87 percent approval rating in India & he has more than 30 million "likes" on Facebook & 15 million Twitter followers, making him the second-most followed world leader after U.S. President Barack Obama.

On Saturday, he was scheduled to attend a dinner with 350 business leaders to discuss the world economy & its impact on India.

Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai & Shantanu Narayen, the Indian-born CEOs of Microsoft Corp, Google & Adobe Systems Inc, respectively, were among those due to moderate a panel discussion before Modi delivers a speech at the dinner.

Modi is moreover expected to meet with Apple CEO Tim Cook & visit Tesla headquarters. On Sunday, he was to visit Facebook & Google headquarters before appearing at an event at the San Jose Convention Center.

(Reporting By Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: “Reuters”