Ivanka Trump, feted in India, calls for closing gender gap in business

HYDERABAD, India, Nov 28 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump kicked off a global business summit in southern India on Tuesday calling for better opportunities for women entrepreneurs battling heavy odds around the world.

Ivanka, also an informal adviser to her father, received a warm welcome in India's high-tech hub of Hyderabad with all the trappings of a state guest.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined her in the opening of the U.S.-backed Global Entrepreneurship Summit which New Delhi is hoping will further boost political and economic ties with the United States under the Trump administration.

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Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
HYDERABAD, INDIA - NOVEMBER 28: : (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - ' GOVERNMENT OF INDIA / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi (2 L) and the US President Donald Trump's Advisor, Ivanka Trump (L) visit the Virtual Exhibition at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2017, in Hyderabad, India on November 28, 2017. (Photo by Government of India / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, attends the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, attends the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India, November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump (C) speaks during a panel discussion at the Global Entrepreneurship Summmit at the Hyderabad convention centre (HICC) in Hyderabad on November 28, 2017. Ivanka Trump urged India on November 28 to close its yawning gender gap in the job market, telling a business summit in her biggest foreign mission yet that this would bring huge economic benefits. / AFP PHOTO / MONEY SHARMA (Photo credit should read MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, attends the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India, November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
HYDERABAD, INDIA - NOVEMBER 28: : (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - ' GOVERNMENT OF INDIA / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi (L) and the US President Donald Trump's Advisor, Ivanka Trump (R) visit the Virtual Exhibition at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2017, in Hyderabad, India on November 28, 2017. (Photo by Government of India / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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Ivanka, wearing a bright green floral dress, said fueling the growth of women-led businesses and closing the gender entrepreneurship gap could help expand global GDP by 2 percent.

"Women still face steep obstacles to starting, owning and growing their businesses. We must ensure women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors," Ivanka said to loud cheers from a packed audience in a heavily-guarded conference center.

In developing countries, 70 percent of women-owned smaller businesses were being denied access to capital, she said, leading to a near $300 billion annual credit deficit for them.

GES is an event conceived by former U.S. President Barack Obama. It has previously been held in countries such as the United States and Turkey, but this year's edition is the first under the Trump administration.

The theme of the conference this year is "Women First, Prosperity for All." More than half the participants at the summit are women, and all-female delegations are representing countries such as Afghanistan, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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Ivanka Trump takes part in a conversation with Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
ARLINGTON, VA - AUGUST 21: Ivanka Trump greets U.S. military leaders before a speech by President Donald Trump on Americas involvement in Afghanistan at the Fort Myer military base on August 21, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. Trump was expected to announce a modest increase in troop levels in Afghanistan, the result of a growing concern by the Pentagon over setbacks on the battlefield for the Afghan military against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
White House Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump (R) speaks next to Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon during a White House event with small businesses in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 1. 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump, departs United Nations headquarters after meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, U.S., July 28, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: Ivanka Trump delivers remarks during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building April 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump also delivered remarks and answered questions from the audience during a town hall event with CEO's on the American business climate. Also pictured are U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (L) and Reed Cordish (R), from the Office of American Innovation. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump joins her father U.S. President Donald Trump as he meets with women small business owners at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Ivanka Trump speaks during a visit to the Smithsonian?s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, U.S., March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Ivanka Trump (R) joins her father U.S. President Donald Trump as he holds a meeting with experts on addressing human trafficking at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S. February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Schaeffler CEO Klaus Rosenfeld , Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ivanka Trump participate in a roundtable with U.S. President Donald Trump and German and U.S. business leaders at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Trump Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (L), his wife Ivanka Trump and with chief economic advisor Gary Cohn depart a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump and King Abdullah of Jordan at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Ivanka Trump and her husband White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner attend a news conference with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: (L to R) Senior adviser Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump enter before U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold a joint press conference at the White House on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. The two answered questions from American and Japanese press. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
U.S. President Trump Addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Carryn Owens (L), widow of Senior Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, reacts as Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner (R), applaud after Owens was mentioned by President Trump. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Ivanka Trump stands as U.S. President Donald Trump makes a toast during the Governor's Dinner in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Ivanka Trump looks at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) during U.S. President Donald Trump's roundtable discussion on the advancement of women entrepreneurs and business leaders at the White House in Washington February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump points out his daughter Ivanka Trump (2nd R), flanked by Alveda King (2nd L) and U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) (R), during his remarks after visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. first lady Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump watch as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, DC, U.S. February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (L) and his wife Ivanka Trump talk with Sara Netanyahu (front L) as she arrives for a joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Ivanka Trump watches as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe U.S. and President Donald Trump speak during their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: Claudia Mirza, co-founder and chief executive officer of Akorbi, from right, Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, Jessica Johnson, president of Johnson Security Bureau Inc., and President Trump listen during a meeting with women small business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Investors on Monday further unwound trades initiated in November resting on the idea that the election of Trump and a Republican Congress meant smooth passage of an agenda that featured business-friendly tax cuts and regulatory changes. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
Senior Advisor to the President, Jared Kushner (L), walks with his wife Ivanka Trump to board Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 3, 2017. The two are travelling with US President Donald Trump to Florida. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump takes her seat at the beginning of the third working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/POOL
Ivanka Trump, Assistant to President Donald Trump, gestures to the crowd next to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin prior to the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington, U.S., June 15, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Ivanka Trump and White House senior advisor Jared Kushner listen to U.S. President Donald Trump's public speech at Krasinski Square, in Warsaw, Poland July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ivanka Trump attend the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) Ceremony at the State Department in Washington, U.S., June 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Ivanka Trump and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde attend the Women?s Entrepreneurship Finance event during the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga (L) speaks with Ivanka Trump as tech company leaders gather at a summit of the American Technology Council at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, U.S. June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ivanka Trump prays as she touches the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Heidi Levine/Pool
Assistant to the president Ivanka Trump speaks during an event celebrating National Military Appreciation Month and National Military Spouse Appreciation Day at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump, visits the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Sohn/Pool
White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump (L), flanked by White House counselor Kellyanne Conway (R), leads a listening session with military spouses at the White House in Washington, U.S. August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President, walks after a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Ivanka Trump and her husband, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, arrive in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 4, 2017. US President Donald Trump will spend a 17-day vacation at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump steps from Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump talks with husband and fellow senior adviser Jared Kushner (C), and White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn prior to a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost in the September 11 attacks on the United States, at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Ivanka Trump with her husband Jared Kushner and their children arrive at Morristown municipal airport, New Jersey, U.S., to spend a weekend with President Donald Trump in Bedminster, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Ivanka Trump speaks during a meeting on action to end modern slavery and human trafficking on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD - SEPTEMBER 15: Ivanka Trump (2nd L) arrives with her husband Jared Kushner (L) at an event September 15, 2017 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. President Trump attended the event to celebrate the 70th birthday of the U.S. Air Force. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump motions to his daughter Ivanka Trump as she delivers remarks alongside students and members of congress and her father's administration, before President Trump signed a memorandum to expand access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the Oval Office at the White House on September 25, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON D.C., Sept. 28, 2017 : Ivanka Trump (L) and her husband Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser, attend the National Day reception held by the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. Sept. 27, 2017. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu via Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, and her husband, Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner, arrive for a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 2, 2017, for the victims of the shooting yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Senior White House Advisor Ivanka Trump greets high school students at the 2017 Fortune magazine?s ?Most Powerful Women? summit in Washington, U.S., October 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
US President Donald Trump speaks alongside his daughter, Ivanka Trump (L) and her husband, Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner (R) during a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ivanka, who ran an eponymous clothing and jewelry business before becoming an adviser in the White House, has made women's issues one of her main policy areas.

She cited a Harvard Business Review report that found that in the United States investors ask men questions about their potential for gains, whereas they ask women questions about their potential for loss.

BILLBOARDS

Billboards with pictures of Ivanka dotted many parts of Hyderabad which is also home to major U.S. firms such as Microsoft. In recent days, authorities took beggars off city streets in a clean-up drive before the meeting, media said.

More than 10,000 police officials were deployed in the city and sniffer dogs as well as "spotters," or men trained to detect any suspicious activity or people, were on stand by, a police officer said.

On the sidelines, Ivanka held talks with Modi, as well as Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj. Later she toured the conference center with Modi and met a few entrepreneurs, before watching traditional Indian dance performances in the inaugural session.

"This event not only connects the Silicon Valley with Hyderabad but also show-cases the close ties between the United States of America and India. It underlines our shared commitment towards encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation," Modi said.

India has become a major market for the United States, with two-way trade of about $115 billion last year. They aim to raise that to $500 billion by 2022. Military and strategic ties are also improving as China's influence rises in Asia and beyond.

"The Trump administration sees India as a strategic partner and wants to engage with India more. When you look at sending of Ivanka Trump, it is sending a very strong signal," said Mukesh Aghi, president of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. (Writing by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Clarence Fernandez, William Maclean)

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