Surgical strikes prove India can defend itself: Modi

"India has four decades' experience in fighting terrorism, and we share the USA administration's determination to defeat this scourge".

"Your hearts always asks when would our country become like this (the US)..."

The CEOs, on their part, lauded Modi's initiatives like demonetisation and digitisation of the economy and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Analysts say today's meeting would give Mr Modi the chance to size up a USA leader whose focus has so far been on ties with India's regional rival China.

"While Indian businesses continue to benefit from open US markets, India has failed to eliminate, or even address concretely, multiple trade and investment barriers that have been the focus of recent bilateral and multilateral fora", the letter said.

"The biggest change in India today is that every Indian want to do and is already doing something with resolution to change and develop the nation", he said. India has committed more than three billion dollars in developmental aid to Afghanistan and is actively engaged in promoting democracy in the war torn country.

Following the interaction, the prime minister said in his speech to the Indian community in Washington: "The government in three years has been blemishless". He said Indians hate corruption and that his government is determined to address this challenge of corruption. The common people hated this... "It is now well known in India, anyone in trouble tweets to Sushma ji, she promptly replies and the government takes action", he said.

"Increased usage of technology brings transparency in systems. Ties between Israel and India are on a constant upswing", he added.

Talking about the army's surgical strikes on terror launching pads across the border on October 26 previous year, the Prime Minister said no country has questioned the government's action. They also highlighted the social initiatives their companies were involved in India on issues such as women empowerment, digital technology, education and food processing.

Even as Modi reiterates these themes, he must reach out to other audiences such as the US Congress and the business and policy worlds to drive the message home.

The American media has also not dwelt too much on India-Pakistan relationship, Kashmir situation or cow vigilantism that has dominated the news cycle in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's arrival in the city was at 9 p.m. on Saturday with no raucous Gujarati and Punjabi expats dancing and singing at the airport or at Willard Intercontinental, where he is staying. "All my family members are settled in America... USA companies have a great opportunity to contribute to that", he said adding his government had introduced 7,000 reforms, including GST, to cut red tape. "Now terrorists have explained terrorism to them so we don't have to", he said.

American online retail giant Amazon, which has committed investments to the tune of Dollars 5 billion in India, will "keep investing and growing in India", its chief Jeff Bezos has said. "Your younger generations must continue the strong bond with India".

  • Joanne Flowers