Categories: technology, governance
What? Apple CEO Timothy Cook made his first official visit to India in May 2016, meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Over the last few years, Mr Modi has met several other high profile technology CEOs. These meetings often have the fanfare that previously only accompanied meetings between heads of state.
So what? Meetings between CEOs of major companies and heads of state now often resemble bilateral summits, and increasingly include issues that reach beyond entrepreneurial ties to involve development, trade, and transnational cooperation. This reflects the fact that today some major multinational corporations surpass nation states in terms of geographic distribution, wealth and influence. India’s example shows that CEOs can meet with heads of state to discuss investments worth billions of dollars, the building of internet infrastructure, the negotiation of regulatory disputes, and the fostering of intellectual and cultural relationships. In a changing economic and technological landscape, these meetings could take on more significant diplomatic and geopolitical importance.