WASHINGTON, DC – First Daughter Ivanka Trump, who serves as senior White House adviser to President Donald Trump, praised international efforts to improve and expand the role of women in parts of the developing world and lauded her father’s administration’s efforts to see this through during her speech at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India, on Tuesday.
Hyderabad is quickly emerging as an international technological and innovative hub. This year’s slogan is “Women First, Prosperity for All.”
“Only when women are empowered to thrive will our families, our economies, and our societies reach their fullest potential,” she said, later adding, “Here in India, I want to applaud Prime Minister Modi for his firm belief that ‘The progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women.'”
She also praised Modi for lifting more than 130 million citizens out of poverty as “a remarkable improvement, and one I know will continue to grow under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.”
During her speech, Trump noted that “women still face steep obstacles to starting, owning, and growing their businesses,” and she noted that, in developing parts of the world, approximately “70 percent of women-owned small and medium-sized businesses are denied access to capital. The result has been a nearly $300 billion dollar annual credit deficit for women entrepreneurs in the developing world.” She added, “In some countries, women are not allowed to own property, travel freely, or work without the consent of their husbands.”
Trump thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all he is doing to “build India as a thriving economy – a beacon of democracy – and a symbol of hope to the world.” She said, “What you are achieving is truly extraordinary,” before recalling his humble story from selling tea as a “chai walla” in his native Gujarat to becoming India’s 14th prime minister.
Trump was later hosted at the Falaknuma Palace Hotel for a dinner event.
She noted that India’s middle-class population has seen a rapid rise and is projected to reach nearly 500 million people by 2030. She commended the subcontinent for medical, technological, and scientific advances that will extend to the far reaches of the world. “The people of India inspire us all,” Trump said.
“You are rewriting the rules,” she said, referring to Hyderabad as the “City of Pearls,” a name afforded to the city which was historically known as a trading center for diamonds and pearls. “In this ‘City of Pearls’ the greatest treasure is you – the dreamers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who never give up, never abandon your aspirations, and always strive for a better tomorrow,” Trump said.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson decided against sending a high-level delegation to Hyderabad amid allegedly growing tensions between the State Department and the White House. However, Trump said, “I would like to thank the State Department for co-hosting this incredible gathering. I also want to thank Governor Narasimhan and all elected Indian officials who are here tonight for welcoming us to your beautiful country.”
She went on to congratulate the female entrepreneurs in the crowd. Trump noted that this is the first time that women make up the majority of the entrepreneurs selected to attend the GES event. A total of 1500 entrepreneurs were invited.
She noted that the Trump 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 so that Americans can turn their dreams into their incredible legacies.”
She added, “As President Trump said earlier this year: India has a true friend in the White House.”
“Today, more than 11 million women in the United States own businesses. They employ nearly 9 million workers, and generate over $1 trillion dollars in revenue.” She added, “Fueling the growth of women-led businesses isn’t simply good for our society – it’s good for our economy. One study estimates that closing the gender entrepreneurship gap world-wide could grow our global GDP by as much as 2 percent.”
Trump named three female innovators in the crowd who have been responsible for life-saving and life-changing technological advances.
Dara Dotz from San Francisco, California, co-founded Field Ready, a tech company that provides life-saving supplies through 3-D printing. Rajlakshmi Borthakur, from Bangalore, India, is the founder of Terra Blue. She invented a smart glove that predicts, manages, and detects different diseases and disorders using Artificial Intelligence. And Reyhan Camalova, 15, from Azerbaijan founded a company that harvests energy from rainwater. Her company’s motto is “Light up one house at a time.”
“These women represent the vision, ambition, and grit of every entrepreneur here today,” Trump said. “You prove to the world that we have the power to rise above the challenges of our day – to pioneer new pathways forward – and to leave our mark on this moment in history.”
She concluded her remarks by saying, “This is the future we can and will build together. And this is the promise of the visionaries gathered here today.”