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Ivanka Trump Speaks At Entrepreneurship Summit In India


The Indian city of Hyderabad is decorated today with fresh flowerpots and new trash bins. The new look is for an annual global summit of entrepreneurs co-hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump. Modi spared no extravagance to welcome Trump on her first visit to India. From Hyderabad, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: The Entrepreneur Summit was meant to be a U.S.-Indian show, but the host nation was in full-throttle Bollywood mode.


MCCARTHY: The opening ceremony brimmed with digital visual effects and a robot that beckoned Ivanka Trump and Narendra Modi to inaugurate the affair with a minor malfunction.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We request the prime minister to kindly press the Indian flag button.

COMPUTER-GENERATED VOICE: Welcome, Ms. Ivanka. Welcome, Ms. Ivanka. Welcome, Shree Narendra Modi.

MCCARTHY: In her keynote address, Ivanka Trump gushed over Indian enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit. This year's summit spotlights female entrepreneurs, and Trump highlighted her own experience, saying that women often have to work harder than men to prove themselves. But Trump has been criticized over her own fashion line, which is produced overseas, mostly in China, where women in the garment industry are among the lowest-paid workers in the world. Yet Trump insists her mission is the empowerment of women and lauded Modi for promoting their advancement. It was a moment to relish for India's prime minister, who hopes to become a favored partner of Washington. And Trump alluded to Modi's own rise.


IVANKA TRUMP: What you are achieving here is truly extraordinary. From your childhood selling tea to your election as India's prime minister, you've proven that transformational change is possible.

MCCARTHY: Putting its best face forward, the city of Hyderabad itself has undergone a transformation. We asked patrons at a popular tea stall what they thought of the repaved roads, rainbow-colored murals painted on overpasses and palm-tree-lined boulevards bathed in lights.

RAJASHEKAR BATHULA: I was so impressed, actually.

MCCARTHY: Twenty-six-old civil engineer Rajashekar Bathula says the city is clean and green in the run-up to Trump's arrival.

BATHULA: And the traffic is going perfectly - everything. So...

MCCARTHY: So what happens when she goes away?

Tell her to stay, he says. Some people admitted to feeling cheated by the fact it takes visits from VIPs to get things in order. More controversially, the city removed panhandlers from the streets, re-housing some in a prison yard.

Tonight, far from the beggars, Ivanka Trump was feted to a five-course dinner. Prime Minister Modi laid out a vegetarian banquet at the Falaknuma Palace, the most opulent of this one-time princely state. Julie McCarthy, NPR News, Hyderabad.