SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The fastest growing ethnic group in the Bay Area is watching closely as the new prime minister of India meets with Pres. Obama and tours the eastern United States. Indian-Americans have high hopes that the two countries will improve relations, which could also bring a big boost to Silicon Valley.

It’s been a rock-star welcome for Narendra Modi, the new prime minister who promises to bring India into the modern age.

Jeevan Zutshi, spokesman for the Indo-American Community Foundation in Fremont says Modi is potentially transformational—India’s Barack Obama.

“It’s not about just a person; it’s about the magical personality of this one man,” he said.

The two leaders are discussing international security, trade, and manufacturing/ India wants more American investment to help broaden its economy, while the U.S. wants India to be less protectionist.

There are about 400,000 Indians and Indian Americans in the Bay Area now, many of them working in Silicon Valley.

UC Berkeley political scientist Vinnie Aggarwal said Bay Area companies want the U.S. government to allow more Indian engineers to come work here, and Modi to streamline the red tape that makes it so difficult for them to invest in India.

“I think there is a win-win situation for Silicon Valley and for California and increasing U.S. trade with India and U.S. investment towards India and also getting investment from India,” Aggarwal said.


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