Three days after US President Donald Trump praised India's "astounding" growth during the APEC summit here in Vietnam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a bilateral meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, today said India was now a favourable choice when it came to foreign investment. "We are now a globally integrated economy," Modi said.
The Prime Minister said he wanted to make India's youth job creators, besides establishing the country as a major global manufacturing hub. During the 45-minute meeting with Trump, Modi said as the relations between the two countries were growing, both were working for the future interests of Asia and humanity. The two leaders are understood to have discussed the security scenario in the region besides several other issues of mutual interests, including ways to further boost bilateral trade.
PM Modi also visited the International Rice Research Institute and Mahaveer Philippines Foundation before addressing the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business and Investment Summit. "I interacted with Indian scientists, students, researchers working at IRRI. India is also involved in helping IRRI in strategic planning, helping decide key goals and working to overcome hunger as well as poverty," tweeted the Prime Minister Office (PMO). Modi said the Mahaveer Philippines Foundation had been instrumental in the fitment of the Jaipur Foot to needy Filipino amputees. "About 757 amputees benefited from the programme in 2017.
Before the talk, the Prime Minister had said, "I feel the relationship between India and the US is not only for mutual interest. It goes beyond that. We are working together for the interest, for the future of Asia and for the humanity as a whole in the world."
Modi had also thanked Trump for praising India whenever he got an opportunity to speak about the country during his Asia tour. "...in the few days wherever president Trump has travelled and whenever opportunity arose to talk about India, he has expressed very high opinion about India," Modi said.
"I would like to assure you whatever the expectations are of the world, of the US from India, India has always made efforts to fulfil those expectations and we will continue to do so in the future too," Modi said.
Trump on his part described Modi as a "friend" and a "great gentleman". "PM Narendra Modi is here we had met at the White House before. He has become a friend of ours. He's doing a great job. A lot of things were solved and we will continue to work together," Trump said, adding that Modi was doing a "fantastic job by bringing lots of factions in India together that is what I hear and is a good news and lot of good reports are coming out of India."
The move to set up the quadrilateral alliance comes in the backdrop of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. The US has been favouring a larger role for India in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region.
The use of the term "Indo-Pacific" by President Trump has led to speculation that it may have something to do with Washington preparing the ground for a revival of the so called quadrilateral strategic alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India to counter China's rise.