India takes no chances for Ivanka Trump visit
27 Nov 2017 - 12:34
Hyderabad, India: Indian authorities have cleared beggars off the streets and brought in 10,000 extra security forces for Ivanka Trump's biggest foreign mission since her father became president.
President Donald Trump's eldest daughter is to be the key speaker Tuesday at the opening of a three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad alongside India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The southern city is home to the India operations of Google, Facebook and Amazon.
The 36-year-old, who is an official White House advisor, will seek to press women's empowerment in business.
She will also underline the growing friendship between the United States and India -- so the host country is taking no chances.
Trump will be greeted in Hyderabad by Modi who will host a gala dinner at the Falaknuma Palace, a luxury hotel once owned by one of the nizams who ruled the city before India's independence.
Authorities have spruced up an open-air market around Charminar, a 16th century mosque that is one of the city's icons. Media reports have suggested that Trump could visit the market.
Police have cleared hundreds of beggars off the streets, saying they cause nuisance and obstruct traffic.
More than 10,000 security personnel including anti-terrorist forces and dog squads will be deployed, and Trump will travel around Hyderabad in her own special bullet proof vehicle with US Secret Service taking care of close security.
The visit has been clouded by US media reports questioning Trump's clothing line and its supply chain as well as a snub by Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, who has reportedly refused to send senior staff with Trump to India.
"They won't send someone senior because they don't want to bolster Ivanka," CNN quoted a senior State Department official as saying.
But US business leaders will be in the Trump delegation joining more than 1,200 entrepreneurs from 150 countries at the meeting.
"Entrepreneurship... is a key priority for this administration. The US recognises innovation and entrepreneurship as essential tools for job creation, economic growth, and stability..." Trump said ahead of the visit.
"Globally, between 2014 and 2016, entrepreneurship activity among women increased by 10 percent. One study estimates that closing the gender entrepreneurship gap worldwide could grow our global GDP by as much as two percent."
Trump's Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, or We-Fi, aims to boost access to business capital for women in the developing world.
According to Trump, women-owned businesses in the developing world suffer an annual credit deficit of $300 billion, either by being unable to borrow or receiving only high-cost, short-term credit.
The We-Fi was first proposed at the G20 summit in Hamburg this year and is supported by Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and other countries.