Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad (AFP)
Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump's daughter and top adviser, praised the growing economic and security ties between the U.S. and India at a high-profile business summit in Hyderabad.
She made the remarks ahead of an address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had personally invited her to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, using the event to drive home the U.S. government's focus on tax cuts and removing red tape.
"We have dramatically reduced job-crushing regulations, which disproportionately hurt entrepreneurs and small business owners," Trump said. "And we are laser focused on passing long-overdue tax cuts."
The event was organized by the U.S. and Indian governments and is attended by a host of U.S. and Indian entrepreneurs, as well as State Department officials and members of PM Modi's cabinet, including the foreign and defense ministers.
Taking a break from campaigning in his home state of Gujarat, which is facing elections on Dec. 18, PM Modi spoke of his government's reforms, including the introduction of nationwide goods and services tax, a new bankruptcy law and the targeting of unaccounted wealth.
"I invite each one of you to become a partner in India's growth story," he told the assembled entrepreneurs, noting India had contained its fiscal- and current-account deficits as well as inflation and was soon to implement a comprehensive energy policy.
Trump focused much of her address on the summit's theme -- empowerment of female entrepreneurs.
"If India closes the labor-force gender gap by half, your economy could grow by over $150 billion dollars in the next three years," she told the audience. "Our administration is advancing policies that enable women to pursue their careers and care for their families, policies that improve workforce development and skills training, and policies that lift government barriers and fuel entrepreneurship."
This is the first Trump family visit to India since last year's election and comes as the Washington and New Delhi try to boost economic, defense and strategic ties. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis both visited earlier this year, two among many bilateral visits as the U.S. seeks closer ties with New Delhi to counter China's influence in Asia.
"Ivanka's trip serves to signal White House interest in the U.S.-India relationship," said Tanvi Madan, a fellow at the Brookings Institution think-tank who researches U.S.-India relations, noting numerous Indian officials have visited Washington, as well. "This steady stream of visitors has helped ensure that the relationship -- and areas of convergence and divergence -- has got a fair amount of attention from the political and bureaucratic leaderships in both countries."
Roughly 1,500 investors, entrepreneurs and executives are expected to attend the summit from U.S. companies such as Facebook Inc., Bain Capital LP and Stanley Black & Decker Inc., as well as Indian firms such as ICICI Bank Ltd. and ANI Technologies' ride-hailing app Ola.
The summit made headlines when local authorities began rounding up beggars ahead of the conference.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)