Trump approves $2bn drone deal to India ahead of Modi meeting

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump and Prime Minister Modi would have a very robust discussion when they meet at the White House. Google's Sundar Pichai and Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen, who were not at the Trump meeting, will also be at the Modi meeting.

Trump has 32.7 million followers on Twitter to Modi's 30.9 million, but he trails the Indian leader by a wide margin on Facebook - with 23.6 million followers to Modi's 41.7 million.

Just days after President Trump met with top US CEOs at the White House to discuss a government overhaul, Modi is holding an identical meeting on Sunday with American honchos just a stone's throw away in Willard Hotel.

Modi said there were strong people-to-people relations between India and the Netherlands due to the presence of the second largest Indian diaspora in Europe in that country. "I look forward to building a forward looking vision for our partnership with the new Administration in the United States under President Trump".

Will this come up?

Modi's visit is being seen as his effort to reach out to the European countries where China has already made significant inroads. But then again, Trump doesn't follow any other world leader - the 45 people Trump follows are mostly family, family-owned businesses, aides and media personalities.

PM Modi thanked the Portuguese prime minister for his consistent support for India's permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, and of the Multilateral Export Control Regime.

"I think that the USA really appreciates India, and I think that President Trump realises that India has been a force for good in the world and that it's a relationship that's important".

"I think they're going to find a lot of common ground in their discussions, both personally and in terms of the strategic partnership", said the senior administration official.

But locals said they were prepared to embrace the new title, Trump Sulabh Village in its full form, and any good things it brought with it.

According to the official, the preparations for Modi's trip started long ago.

The White House also emphasised that the U.S. was looking forward to its nuclear reactors contributing to India's energy security.

The official praised Indian-Americans for growing Silicon Valley startups and said President Trump was very familiar as a businessman with the achievements of the community. As the India-U.S. partnership intensifies, Washington would like New Delhi to shed its age-old reticence and act as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific region.

Noting that the visit would be a huge step for India, Bakshi said that the two may discuss the deal between Lockheed Martin and Tata over F 16, and 22 predator Guardian drones.

"His first visit with Obama was more of a social event". Should Trump's protectionist rhetoric become protectionist policy, it could seriously affect India's economy.

Given Goa's strong cultural and historic connection with Portugal, Modi's visit, the first leg of his three-nation tour that will also take him to the U.S. and the Netherlands, is significant. These agreements will promote India's science and technology partnership with Portugal, towards the establishment of a unique Centre on the Azores Archipelago - the Atlantic International Research Centre. It comes as Mr Trump intends to curb the number of H-1B visas issued, as a way of boosting domestic employment.

  • Joanne Flowers