India

Indian media: Modi's upcoming US visit

Mr Modi has promised to inject "fresh investments" into India's economy Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Modi has promised to inject 'fresh investments' into India's economy

Media in India report that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "will embark on a massive charm offensive" with US businessmen during his upcoming visit to the country.

The PM wants to improve bilateral trade between the two countries to boost India's faltering economy, papers say.

Mr Modi will start his US visit from 27 September.

"Over the coming weekend, Mr Modi is scheduled to meet a select group of 10 CEOs for a breakfast meeting as well as have one-on-one interactions with five key corporate and finance leaders in New York," reports The Times of India.

Indian business leaders are upbeat about the visit.

"India Inc is optimistic about Mr Modi's US visit, with 77% of corporates eyeing tangible outcomes from meetings with President Barack Obama and a boost to bilateral trade," says a report in the Business Standard.

A survey done by industry body Assocham says India's business leader are hoping that Mr Modi's "personal chemistry" with the US president may yield good results for the country.

"As many as 67% of the respondents in the Assocham survey said they would expect the Obama-Modi personal chemistry to be a high point of the forthcoming visit," the report says.

However, some feel that Mr Modi's task will not be easy because of India's image of a "non-friendly" business destination.

"The US has already imposed sanctions on India for solar imports, and India's recent stance at the WTO on the trade facilitation agreement has lost it more friends in [Washington] DC. Therefore, Mr Modi will have to work extra hard to convince sceptical US CEOs that India is indeed reopened for business," The Times of India adds.

Ebola fight

Meanwhile, an article in The Hindu urges India to play a stronger role in helping African countries fight the spread of the Ebola virus.

The article warns that "it is only a matter of time" before cases of Ebola appear in India as 45,000 Indians are estimated to be living in affected regions in West Africa.

India must not only ward off an Ebola outbreak within its own borders, but must also take "swift and decisive action" to support affected countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal and Nigeria, the article says.

And finally, a community radio service that largely focuses on disaster management has started in some isolated villages of the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, The Hindu reports.

Based in Rudraprayag district, the radio station will air programmes in the local Garhwali dialect, the report says.

The area is prone to natural disasters. Last year, flash floods killed hundreds and destroyed crucial infrastructure in the state.

Such a service "has a big role to play in grassroots-level disaster preparedness, risk reduction, relief and rescue operations, rehabilitation and the responsible reconstruction of an affected region and its people", says an expert.

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