En­trepreneurs out­num­ber slots at Ivanka’s sum­mit

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - KR­ISHNA N. DAS

AUS-backed en­trepreneur­ship con­fer­ence that pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s daugh­ter, Ivanka Trump, is at­tend­ing in In­dia this month 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), to be held in Hy­der­abad from Novem­ber 28, though or­gan­is­ers say they can ac­com­mo­date only 400 from In­dia and 800 from the US and the rest of the world. “Def­i­nitely, the re­sponse was much, much more than the 400. In­dia has be­come a very im­por­tant startup 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 star­tups,” he said of Ivanka Trump.

Ran­jan could not con­firm a re­port in a na­tional daily that said about 44,000 In­dian en­trepreneurs had ap­plied for the 400 slots, though he said it was in the thou­sands. The ap­pli­ca­tion dead­line was Oc­to­ber 7.

For­mer US pres­i­dent Barack Obama con­ceived the GES. It was pre­vi­ously held in Wash­ing­ton, Is­tan­bul, Dubai, Mar­rakech in Morocco, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur and Sil­i­con Val­ley in the US.

This will be the first such sum­mit un­der Trump, who this year said on 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.”

On a visit to New Delhi last month, US sec­re­tary of state Rex Tiller­son said the con­fer­ence was an ex­am­ple of how Trump and 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 US, 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.

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

Modi, who will in­au­gu­rate the con­fer­ence, told Trump in a meet­ing in the Philip­pines on Mon­day that he looked for­ward to host­ing the US del­e­ga­tion in Hy­der­abad.

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