Washington: In a first ever comment on India since he hit the US presidential campaign trail, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has praised the world’s largest democracy saying that the country is doing great but no one is talking about it, the media reported.
“India is doing great,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview this week.
The controversial American tycoon has been openly critical about several countries like China, Mexico and Japan in many of his speeches.
“That was the beginning of China. That was the beginning of India, when India — by the way, India is doing great. Nobody talks about it,” Trump was quoted as saying.
“But that was the beginning of China. That was the beginning of India. Look at everything I told you. Everything I told you is all right, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s Iran, whether it’s China, whether it’s India, whether it’s Japan,” Trump said, referring to his CNN interview in September 2007.
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Lamenting that the US has gone from the tremendous power that was respected all over the world to somewhat of a laughing stock, he said that all of a sudden, people are talking about China and India and other places, even from an economic standpoint.
“The US has come down a long way, and it’s very, very sad. We’re not respected,” he added.
“And I have big jobs going up in India. But India is doing great,” Trump was quoted as saying.
Trump has been trying for years to capitalise on his brand in India, teaming up with local property developers.
The 69-year-old billionaire had, in 2014, announced the launch of Trump Tower Mumbai, an 800-foot skyscraper with 75 stories to be erected in Mumbai by an Indian developer Lodha Group.
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Before that, in August 2012, developer Panchshil Realty announced another luxury residential property with the Trump name, in Pune, a city about 145 km from Mumbai.
The Trump Towers Pune feature two towers with 23 stories each. The project is still under construction.