India will protect intellectual property: Modi

Narendra Modi in US
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the global innovative industry that India not just values intellectual property but will also protect it, especially in this era of technology advancement.

During a roundtable at the Waldorf Towers Hotel here on “Media, Technology and Communications – Growth Story for India” with the top representatives of this industry, the prime minister said India was also expanding its bandwidth and infrastructure for technology-based industries to grow and flourish.

“We are committed to protecting IPR (intellectual property rights), that’s essential to fostering creativity,” Modi told during the meeting with the top bosses of companies like News Corp, 21st Century Fox, Sony, Discovery, Time Warner, A&E and VICE Media, representing 40 percent of global industry in this space.

“This is a technology driven era. We are a technology driven society,” he added.

Earlier, Modi had an hour-long interaction with chief executives from the financial sector during which he invited the global investment community to come to his country and join his “Made in India” campaign, given that India was today the fastest-growing economy with untold potential.

Briefing the media later on the meeting, India’s official foreign office spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the meeting provided a good opportunity for the prime minister to listen to their experience of doing business with India, and also get inputs for addressing their concerns.

“Yes, all of them,” Swarup replied when asked if they had given any assurances on investments.

“They talked about their figures. Somebody has a $5 billion investment, somebody has a $10 billion. They all, as I said, were very bullish on India especially on insurance sector where cap (on foreign equity) has now gone up to 49 percent,” the spokesperson added.

“So, they were all, as I said, fairly bullish on future prospects in India.”

Among the chief executives of the financial world at the event were Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone, Charles Kaye of Warburg Pincus, Henry Kravis of KKR, Bill Ford of General Atlantic and Peter Hancock of AIG Insurance.

The others included Chase Coleman of Tiger Global and Vicki Fuller of NY State Common Retirement Fund.

The prime minister later met US-India Business Council chair Ajay Banga, industrialist and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lockheed Martin chief Marillyn A. Hewson and Aecom chief executive Mike Burke.

In a meeting with nearly 50 of the US’ top corporate leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for attracting more foreign investments into India and assured continuity in economic reforms and prompt decision-making as his areas of priority.

“Foreign direct investment all over the world has fallen. But in India, it increased by 40 percent. This reflects confidence in the Indian economy,” the prime minister said during an interaction on Thursday with the chief executives, drawn from Fortune 500 companies.

“Reform in governance is my Number One priority. We are for simplified procedures, speedy decision-making, transparency and accountability,” the prime minister added, before dining with them at the Waldorf Towers Hotel in Manhattan where he is staying.

Earlier, the prime minister participated in two roundtables — one on financial sector and the other on “Media, Technology and Communications – Growth Story for India”

He also met individually the US-India Business Council chair Ajay Banga, industrialist and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lockheed Martin chief Marillyn A. Hewson and Aecom chief executive Mike Burke.