The long-term impact of his visit to China may not be seen for years, but Narendra Modi is already reaping the benefits of engaging his countrymen living in Hong Kong and on the mainland. The Indian prime minister was greeted more like a rock star than a politician when he met expatriate Indians in Shanghai yesterday and had an eager audience to hear his plans on promoting their country. "He knows he has support," said Rajkumar Sabnani, a Hong Kong resident and prominent businessman who flew to Shanghai as part of a 400-odd contingent for meetings with Modi. "Everybody loves him," Sabnani added, drawing a parallel between the prime minister - whom his supporters see as a symbol of a modern, corruption free India - and the late Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew. Modi, 64, is a Hindu nationalist who swept to power in a landslide election exactly a year ago. He used the final day of his three-day tour yesterday to pitch "Make in India", a new plan to attract manufacturing investment to the country. The plug drew pledges of support from top mainland Chinese business leaders, including Jack Ma Yun of online shopping giant Alibaba and Xiaomi president Lin Bin, as well as Indian executives. The meetings led to the signing of a host of Sino-India trade and economic deals worth an estimated US$22 billion. The "Make in India" policy had quietly attracted a lot of overseas investment since it was launched in September, Manoj Motwani, general secretary of the Hong Kong office of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, said. "He has the moral support and business support [of expat Indians]," Motwani said. "No other party enjoys so much support from overseas Indians." The effervescent support will provide some solace to Modi, whose first anniversary in power has prompted criticism that his much-vaunted reforms are proving ineffective. He has also faced hurdles in his country's legislature, which struck down a key tax bill last week that his party had championed. Sabnani, however, remains unperturbed. He is eager to host Modi in Hong Kong one day, likely in Namo - a restaurant on Mody Road in Tsim Sha Tsui named after the statesman's popular nickname.