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Rush for Ivanka summit

BUSINESS: Ivanka Trump


A US-BACKED entrepreneurship con­ference that president Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, is attending in India next week has been flooded with applications amid deepening ties between India and the United States.

Thousands of Indian entrepreneurs want to attend the three-day Global En­trepreneurship Summit (GES), from No­vember 28 in Hyderabad, though organ­isers say they can accommodate only 400 from India and 800 from the United States and the rest of the world.

“Definitely, the response was much, much more than the 400. India has be­come a very important start-up destina­tion,” said Jayesh Ranjan, a government official in Hyderabad who is helping or­ganise the event.

“Also, when she speaks as the head of the US delegation, in a way she would be communicating what is the official posi­tion of the US government about entre­preneurship, about start-ups,” he said of Ivanka Trump.

Ranjan could not confirm a report in the Times of India daily that said about 44,000 Indian entrepreneurs had ap­plied for the 400 slots, though he said it was in the thousands.

GES was conceived by former US president Barack Obama.

It was previously held in Washington, Istanbul, Dubai, Marrakech, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur, and Silicon Valley in the United States.

This will be the first such summit un­der Trump, who this year said on the social network Twitter that his daughter would lead the US delegation to support women’s entrepreneurship globally.

The theme of the conference this year is “Women First, Prosperity for All”.

More than 1,500 people are expected at GES Hyderabad, including entrepre­neurs, 300 investors, government offi­cials and others, Ranjan said.

On a visit to New Delhi last month, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson said the conference was an example of how Trump and India’s prime minister Narendra Modi were “promoting innovation, expanding job opportunities, and finding new ways to strengthen both of our economies”.

India is already a major market for the United States, with bilateral trade at about $115 billion last year. They aim to raise that to $500 billion by 2022.

Military and strategic ties are also improving amid rising Chinese influ­ence in Asia and beyond.

Modi, who will inaugurate the confer­ence, told Trump in a meeting in the Philippines last Monday (13) that he looked forward to hosting the US dele­gation in Hyderabad, “showcasing in­novation and collaboration between In­dia and the United States”. (Reuters)