Accepting PM Modi invitation, Ivanka Trump will head to Hyderabad in November-end

08/09/2017

NEW DELHI, Aug. 9: US President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump, is scheduled to visit Hyderabad in the last week of November, for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (November 28), South Block sources told. Sources said Indain Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the summit — started by then US President Barack Obama in 2010, this is the eighth edition of the GES.

At his meeting with President Trump in Washington in June, Modi had invited Ivanka for the GES. Announcing this at the White House Rose Garden joint press statement, Trump had said, “And I believe she has accepted.” Ivanka had nodded in agreement.

“Thank you, Prime Minister Modi, for inviting me to lead the US delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this fall,” Ivanka later tweeted.

Over the last month-and-a-half, the finer details have been worked out between New Delhi, Washington and Hyderabad. Sources said while Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru were among the options, Hyderabad was chosen as the venue because of its international clientele and infrastructure for hosting large conferences.

The Centre has designated NITI Aayog as the nodal agency to organise the event, in coordination with Ministry of External Affairs and Andhra Pradesh government. Sources at the Prime Minister’s Office said NITI Aayog has been asked to make it a mega event, since the summit is being held in India for the first time.

Sources said that diplomatically, it will be a significant event, since New Delhi raised the issue of H1B visas, in an oblique manner, in the India-US joint statement in June.

“Applauding the entrepreneurship and innovation of Indians and Indian-Americans that have directly benefitted both nations, President Trump welcomed India’s formal entry into the International Expedited Traveler Initiative (global entry programme) in order to facilitate closer business and educational ties between the citizens of India and the United States,” the joint statement had said.

Recently, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj highlighted the reference to “entrepreneurship of Indians”, while pointing out in the Rajya Sabha that Modi got Trump to acknowledge the contribution made by skilled professionals from India. She was responding to the Opposition’s question on whether Modi had raised the issue of H1B visas during his US visit.

According to the US State Department, GES aims to showcase inspiring entrepreneurs and investors from around the world, creating new opportunities for investment, partnership and collaboration; connect American entrepreneurs and investors with international counterparts to form lasting relationships; and highlight entrepreneurship as means to address some of the most intractable global challenges.

The summit typically includes a wide range of workshops, panels, ignite talks, pitch competitions, mentoring and networking sessions aimed to give participants tailored opportunities to gain skill and relationships that will help their ventures grow. There are also demonstration areas and experiential learning exhibitions to create opportunities for participants to connect with industry experts, it says on its website.

The summit, which was first organised in Washington DC in 2010, has since been hosted in Istanbul, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Marrakesh, Nairobi, and Silicon Valley.

The plan to host GES 2017 in India was first announced during Modi’s US visit in June 2016, in a joint statement. “Recognising the importance of fostering an enabling environment for innovation and empowering entrepreneurs, the United States welcomes India’s hosting of the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit,” the statement said.

Previous summits have seen participation by the who’s who in the world of entrepreneurs — then Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. According to sources, entrepreneurs from India who are involved in Startup India — India’s own startup and entrepreneurship programme — will be among the participants in Hyderabad. One of the focus areas of this year’s summit will be women entrepreneurs.TIE

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