New York | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met prominent US personalities from different walks of life, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk who asserted that India has more promise than any other large country and that he is incredibly excited about its future.
Musk told reporters after meeting Modi that Twitter, the social media giant he owns, does not have a choice but to follow the local government. Or it will get shut down, he said when asked about the company's former owner and CEO Jack Dorsey's recent allegation against the Indian government.
"The best we can do is to follow the laws in any given country," he said, adding that it is impossible for "us to do more than that".
There are different rules and regulations for different forms of governments, and "we will do our best to provide the freest speech that is possible under the law", Musk said.
Asked if Tesla will enter the Indian market, Musk said he is planning to visit the country next year. "I am confident that Tesla will be in India and will do so as soon as humanly possible," he said.
"I would like to thank the prime minister for his support and hopefully we will be able to announce something in the not so distant future," Musk said.
"We do not want to jump the gun on an announcement but I think it is quite likely that it will be a significant investment in our relationship with India," the Tesla CEO said.
In a separate video statement, Musk also lauded Modi, saying he "really cares about India because he is pursuing us to make significant investment in India." "I am a fan of Modi," he said.
India is great for solar energy investment, Musk added, describing his talks with the prime minister as excellent.
On his meeting with Musk, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, "Great meeting you today @elonmusk! We had multifaceted conversations on issues ranging from energy to spirituality." To this, Musk replied,"It was an honour to meet again." Modi, who is visiting the US from June 21-24 at the invitation of US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, is meeting over two dozen thought leaders from various walks of life, including Nobel laureates, economists, artists, scientists, scholars, entrepreneurs, academicians and health sector experts.
Besides Musk, they include astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson, Nobel laureate economist Paul Romer, author Nicholas Nassim Taleb and investor Ray Dalio.
Prime Minister Modi met one-on-one with some of them while others met him in groups.
Taleb after meeting Modi said, "I commended India for its response to Covid and how India has very efficiently dealt with it. Discussed risk taking and anti-fragility with the prime minister." "Professor @nntaleb has interesting perspectives on many issues and I had the opportunity to hear them on some of those subjects. He was greatly interested in India's development strides. I emphasised on how we are nurturing a spirit of enterprise and risk taking among our youth," Modi tweeted. Dalio said "Modi is a man whose time has come when India's time has come". "Potential of India is enormous and you have now have a reformer who has the ability to transform. India and Prime Minister Modi are at a juncture in which lot of opportunities will be created," he said. Modi tweeted, "Met my friend, the distinguished author and investor @RayDalio. Urged him to deepen investments in India and also talked about the reform trajectory of our government." In a video statement, Tyson also praised Modi, saying the sky is not the limit for him and describing the prime minister as "scientifically thoughtful". "Priorities might be out of balance for many world leaders but Prime Minister Modi cares for many things, including solutions. I am not alone when I say that potential what India can accomplish knows no limit," the astrophysicist said. The prime minister tweeted," Talked space, science and related issues with @neiltyson. Highlighted steps India is taking to reform the space sector and draw more youngsters towards science as well as innovation." On Modi's meeting with Romer, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted, "A stimulating exchange of views between PM @narendramodi and eminent economist and Nobel laureate Prof @paulmromer." "Discussions touched upon India's digital journey, including the use of Aadhar and innovative tools like Digilocker. Talks also covered various initiatives being undertaken by India for urban development," he tweeted.
The prime minister on Twitter said, "Glad to have met noted economist and Nobel laureate, Professor @paulmromer. We had extensive conversations on leveraging technology to improve lives. We also talked about how to make our cities more sustainable and people friendly." On his meeting with author Robert AF Thurman, Modi tweeted, "The interaction with @BobThurman was outstanding. I admire his passion towards research and scholarship on aspects relating to Buddhism. I highlighted India's Buddhist heritage and how Buddhism can help overcome many challenges our world faces." A tweet on the prime minister's meeting with astrophysicist Tyson by the MEA official read: "Catalyzing India-US space collaboration!" The prime minister also highlighted the potential of academic collaboration and private participation in space sector between India and the US under India's National Space Policy, the MEA spokesperson said. Modi is also scheduled to observe the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations headquarters here with the UN leadership and members of the international community. Representatives of over 188 countries are expected to attend the exercise. On June 22, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host Modi at a State Dinner. The visit also includes an address by the prime minister to the joint session of the US Congress on June 22.