This weekend, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick off his first official visit to the United States, the latest stop in his global PR campaign to tell the world India is back in business.
During his four-day visit to New York and Washington D.C., Modi will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, congressional leaders, business executives and members of the Indian diaspora as he looks to strengthen economic and political relations between both countries.
"Modi-Obama Summit will set the framework for bilateral co-operation between the two nation's governments in defense, trade and infrastructure, at a crucial time when the new Modi government is developing its own strategic policy framework and geopolitical relationships with other world-leading powers," said Rajiv Biswas, chief economist, Asia-Pacific at IHS.
Since taking the helm in May, Modi has actively sought to deepen ties with leaders of global economic powers, recently holding strategic dialogues with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The discussions were largely seen as successful in setting the foundations for India relations with Asia's two largest economies.
Modi has been a controversial figure in the U.S. for his alleged role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat that led the Bush Administration to deny him a visa in 2005. Putting this aside, Modi has called India and the U.S. "natural allies," saying it is in the interest of both the nations to further develop their relationship.
To the U.S, India – with its large population, youthful demographics and fast-growing middle class – presents opportunities as one of the world's fastest growing consumer market. Total Indian consumer spending is forecast to rise from $1.1 trillion in 2013 to $4.3 trillion by 2023, according to IHS.