Modi’s invite to Ivanka Trump: Taking one for the team, and the nation

Aug 12, 2017
Having risen to power on a plank of avowed opposition to dynastic politics, it probably wasn’t easy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invite United States President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump to India for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in November. India and the United States will co-host the three-day summit, which intends to bring together entrepreneurs of the two countries.
Mr Modi’s invite to Ms Trump has generated a fair amount of unease because Ms Trump’s career credentials have almost entirely been built within her father’s business empire. But before criticising Mr Modi’s decision, please do remember that Ms Trump is a senior advisor to the US president, Donald Trump. By inviting Ms Trump, Mr Modi is taking one for the team, and the nation.
Moreover, this is not the first time that the Indian government is dealing with members of a world leader’s family officially: New Delhi has hosted princes of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Britain among several others. Let’s not forget that the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in 2017.
As mentioned earlier, it is in India’s self interest that Mr Modi extended the invite to Ivanka Trump. This move could help to cement a relationship with someone very influential in shaping the US president’s policies, but also help build better business relations with one of the world’s largest economies and democracies. Several thorny issues dog US-India relations, one being the issue of H1-B visas for Indians.
The stakes for both countries are high and there are several shared interests such as maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific, terrorism in the south and central Asia, economic opportunity and democratic values.
Experts say that India-US ties are critical not just for the two countries but also for catalysing growth globally. The India-US bilateral trade touched the $115 billion-mark in 2016 and is expected to rise, thanks to India’s business-positive outlook and young population.
In such a scenario, a cordial relationship with one of the American president’s most trusted advisors could only help in fixing the problems in the relationship and also firm up bilateral ties.
Hindustan Times, August 12, 2017

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