Buyers pondering buying a Donald Trump branded apartment in one of several developments around India are being offered an unusual incentive to sign up: dinner with the son of the US president.
Donald Trump Jr will travel to India later this month to launch a range of properties, including one in Gurgaon, close to Delhi, and another in Kolkata. At both projects, he will meet those who have signed a contract for one of his company’s apartments.
A full-page advertisement for the Delhi event appeared on the front cover of copies of the Hindustan Times newspaper on Saturday morning, announcing: “Trump has arrived. Have you?” They promised anyone who agreed to buy a Trump property before February 21 the chance of “a conversation and dinner” with the US president’s son before the end of the month.
And amid concerns in the US that the Trump family’s business interests risk clashing with its political ones, Mr Trump Jr is also reported to have agreed to speak at a business summit which will be attended by several senior Indian ministers.
Mr Trump Jr has been in charge of the Trump Organisation along with his brother Eric since their father relinquished control of the company after becoming president. Their continued involvement with the company has sparked accusations that the Trump family is using the president’s status to further its business interests.
US ethics lawyers also warn that foreign governments could also look to curry favour with the first family by favouring their international business projects.
This is a particular risk in India where property and politics go hand in hand, with developments often getting caught up in legal cases, tax investigations and government inquiries.
This has already happened to the one Trump Tower development that has been completed in India, in the southern city of Pune. Officials there are deliberating on whether the towers violated planning rules, following the complaint of a local activist. Panchshil Realty, the Trump Organisation’s local business partners in Pune, has previously said the project was “to the best of our knowledge” built using valid permits.
That controversy has not discouraged the Trump Organisation from pursuing its projects in other major Indian cities, including one in Mumbai, which Mr Trump Jr is set to visit during his stay in India.
Talking earlier this month about his prospective trip, Mr Trump Jr said: “India is such an incredible country and our brand has enjoyed tremendous success in the region for many years.
"This trip is a celebration of all we have achieved, including the launch of the Trump developments in Kolkata and Delhi which have been under way for many months. The teams in India have been working very hard to deliver residences that are truly second to none and I am looking forward to visiting these spectacular projects very soon.”
Tribeca Developers, the Trump Organisation’s partner in Delhi, which is helping organise the tour, did not immediately respond to a request to comment.
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