Modi said he and Mr. Zuckerberg would “discuss some global issues and issues relating to India, particularly on the economy and society.”
Around 50 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have confirmed participation at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York on September 24, and the numbers may go up further. Mr. Modi will also host another dinner for CEOs of digital companies in the Silicon Valley when he visits the West Coast of the U.S. on September 26 and 27.
A Townhall Q&A at the Facebook headquarters along with its founder Mark Zuckerberg — something, according to Mr. Modi, “you shouldn’t miss” — is billed to be the high-profile event during his five-day visit to the U.S., but an interactive session that put together 30 Indian start-ups and 17 Silicon Valley start-ups will be of great significance, say diplomats involved in the planning.
“This visit seeks to build on the substantial ground covered during my last visit to USA and President Obama’s visit to India early this year,” Mr. Modi said in one of his several Facebook posts. Mr. Modi and Mr. Obama will meet in New York on September 28. Mr. Modi will also visit Ireland on his way to the U.S.
Mr. Modi said he and Mr. Zuckerberg would “discuss some global issues and issues relating to India, particularly on the economy and society.”
He said: “An event that I am enthusiastic about is the ‘India-US Start-up Konnect.’ India is emerging as a hub of start-ups in a wide range of areas and we aspire to take this further. We want the world to see our innovation capabilities in the start-up sector. At this event, a group of Indian start-ups will showcase their innovations and forge partnerships with the vibrant American start-up industry.”
At the U.N., Mr. Modi would address the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit for formal adoption of the post-2015 new sustainable development agenda and attend the summit on U.N. peacekeeping hosted by Mr. Obama. The Prime Minister said India attached great importance to the U.N., and reiterated India’s vision for U.N. reforms. He said India would host a summit of G-4 leaders — of India, Brazil, Japan and Germany that support the expansion of the U.N. Security Council and demand permanent positions for themselves — in New York where the main agenda would be the U.N. Security Council reforms.
“This year, the 70th anniversary of the U.N. is an appropriate moment for reform discussions to be accelerated. Recently, the UN General Assembly finally adopted a document after over 20 years that would form the basis of formal discussions on this matter,” Mr. Modi said.
Talking of the Sustainable Development Summit, Mr. Modi said: “Coming from a culture that regards harmony as central to its ethos, I am glad to have an opportunity to address this forum. The new goals are closely aligned with India’s vision for sustainable development and our flagship programs for the same.”
Mr. Modi plans to meet several other world leaders on the sidelines on the General Assembly, but details are not yet available. Mr. Modi will also address a Renewable Energy Roundtable with USDOC and Stanford University and interact with the Indian community in San Jose on September 27.