Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Tesla CEO Elon Musk in New York on Tuesday on the first day of his landmark visit to the United States weeks after the billionaire entrepreneur expressed his keen interest in establishing a firm foothold in India’s dynamic market.
Tesla, the renowned electric vehicle (EV) giant, is poised to select a prime location for its upcoming factory this year, according to recent reports.
Musk’s ambitious plans to expand Tesla’s operations to the Indian subcontinent have generated immense excitement among industry insiders and EV enthusiasts alike.
“I am confident Tesla will be in India and will do so as soon as humanly possible. I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his support. Hopefully, we will be able to announce something in the not-so-distant future," Elon Musk said after meeting Modi.
“We don’t want to jump the gun on an announcement, but there will be a significant investment relationship with India in the future," he added.
While lauding India’s solar energy investment, Telsa CEO said he is incredibly excited about the future of the country.
“India has more promise than and any other large country in the world. …PM really cares about India because he is pursuing us to make a significant investment in India," he said.
Calling himself a “fan of Modi", Musk also announced his tentative plan to visit India next year.
The world’s richest man, currently riding high on soaring share prices of his automotive and clean energy company, described his meeting with PM Modi as “excellent."
Answering media queries about his meeting with PM Modi, he said, “I am planning to visit India next year."
Elon Musk even replied to PM Modi’s tweet, saying it was an honor to meet him again.
Besides Musk, PM Modi also met author and prominent American academician Robert Thurman and Lebanese-American writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
PM Modi arrived in the US to a rousing welcome from Indian-American community members who cheered him and raised slogans in his favour.
Thurman presented PM Modi with a white stole. Meanwhile, Taleb gave Prime Minister his best-selling book “Skin in the Game."
Modi is visiting the US at the invitation of President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, who will host him at a state dinner on June 22. The visit includes an address by the prime minister to the joint session of the US Congress on June 22.
On the first leg of his maiden state visit to the US, PM Modi will lead the celebrations of the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations Headquarters and hold bilateral talks with President Joe Biden in Washington.
In his departure statement, Modi said this “special invitation” from President Biden and the First Lady for a state visit is a reflection of the vigour and vitality of the partnership between the democracies.
From New York, Modi will travel to Washington D.C. where he will hold talks with President Biden.
The prime minister noted that President Biden and he have had the opportunity to meet several times since his last official visit to the US in September 2021. “This visit will be an opportunity to enrich the depth and diversity of our partnership,” Modi said.
Modi said his discussions with President Biden and other senior US leaders will provide an opportunity to consolidate bilateral cooperation as well as in plurilateral forums such as G20, Quad and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity).
The prime minister said he will also join President Biden and the First Lady for the state banquet along with a number of dignitaries.
Noting that the US Congress has always provided strong bi-partisan support to India-US ties, Modi said that during his visit, he will address a joint session of the US Congress at the invitation of the Congressional leadership.
“Strong people-to-people linkages have been instrumental in developing the trust between our countries. I look forward to meeting the vibrant Indian-American community that represents the best of our societies,” he said.
“I will also meet some of the leading CEOs to discuss opportunities for elevating our trade and investment relationship and for building resilient global supply chains,” Modi said.
Modi will also meet business leaders, interact with the Indian community and meet thought leaders from different walks of life.
The US is India’s largest trade partner in goods and services, and the two countries collaborate closely in the fields of science and technology, education, health, defence and security, the prime minister said.