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India substantially above board than China, says Donald Trump Jr

Faizan Javed
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Donald Trump Jr visiting India as private US citizen

The son of the US President is currently on a business trip India. He is executive vice president of the Trump Organization which is developing a number of high profile properties in various parts of the country.

Donald Trump Junior, the eldest son of US President Donald Trump, today said India is "substantially above board" for business compared to China, and reforms underway will help attract investments to Asia's third largest economy from countries like US.

On a week long visit to push sales of the upcoming Trump Towers in the country, he said the "spirit" of doing business in India is much more aligned with the US way of doing business.

"As a businessman, I feel things here are substantially more above board," he said. "I think the mentality of the people is the same. I think there is probably little bit more honesty."

He was replying to a question during a meeting with senior editors on why Trump Organisation choose to build ultra luxury apartments in India first than in China.

Trump Organisation has licensing pacts with local business partners, M3M and Tribeca Developers, for constructing 254 apartments in a price bracket of Rs 5.5 crore to Rs 11 crore with a total area ranging from 3,500-4,500 square feet, at Gurugram. The project is scheduled for completion in March 2023.

"For me it has been, certainly been, easier to do" business in India, he said.

Trump Jr, who will later this week share stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a business summit here, said India represents the biggest market outside the US for the New York-based company.

"Because I am not a new comer, I have seen changes during the last decade, certainly over last couple of years," he said on how India has changed for better with the government cracking down on corruption and benami deals in real estate.

The reforms undertaken in India, he said, "will be very positive for the country."

"It will open up the country to much more outside investment from places like United States," he said.

Since its entry into the Indian real estate market in 2014, four Trump Towers, with a total revenue potential of USD 1.5 billion, have been launched across Pune, Mumbai, Gurugram and Kolkata. The fifth one which is expected to be a commercial office project is likely to be launched soon.

He however refused to disclose the revenue model for the India business and what Trump Organisation would earn.

The Trump family earned as much as USD 3 million in royalties in 2016 from ventures in India, the New York Times reported citing the president's financial disclosure report.

The Gurugram project will be the largest of the four, with two 47-storey towers housing a total of 254 'ultra luxury' units.

While the company is not soliciting new business opportunities during duration of Trump's presidency to avoid conflict of interest, he said the focus would remain on building only luxury and high-end apartments.