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Prosperity of US linked to that of Asia: Obama

US President Barack Obama says the prosperity of America is linked inextricably to that of its trading partners in the region, including India.

twitter-logoPTI | November 13, 2010 | Updated 11:47 IST

Taking note of the "economic miracle" in Asia, US President Barack Obama on Saturday said that prosperity of America is linked inextricably to that of its trading partners in the region, including India.

Winding up his four-nation Asia tour that took him to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, Obama noted that "Yokohama (Japan) is my last stop on a journey that's taken me from Mumbai to New Delhi to Jakarta and to Seoul."

"And in each place, we have deepened friendships, we have strengthened partnerships, and we have reaffirmed a fundamental truth of our time: In the 21st century, the security and prosperity of the American people is linked inextricably to the security and prosperity of Asia," he said in his address to CEO Business Summit in Yokohama.

"That's why this was not my first trip here, and it will not be my last. America is leading again in Asia," Obama said.

He said the story of Asia over the last few decades is the story of change that is so rapid and transformative that it may be without precedent in human history.

"The economic miracle that began here in Japan after the Second World War has now swept across the Pacific and throughout the wider region," he said as he recollected his visits to the cities in these four countries beginning with Mumbai a week ago.

"When I was in Mumbai, I met with young entrepreneurs who were putting American technology into Indian electric cars and selling clean water to Indians from filtration equipment purchased from the United States. These are breakthroughs that will continue to fuel growth in a nation that has already lifted millions from poverty," Obama said.

Within five years, Asia's economy is expected to be about 50 per cent larger than it is today. And for at least the next four years, Asia Pacific economies will grow faster than the world average, he said, adding that undoubtedly, this rapid growth will lead to a healthy competition for the jobs and industries of the future.

"As the largest economy in the world, an engine for global growth, that's particularly important for the United States. As Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh of India said when I was visiting there, 'a strong, robust, fast-growing United States is in the interest of the world' and 'would help the cause of global prosperity'," Obama said.

The US President said that one of the important lessons the economic crisis taught them is the limits of depending primarily on American consumers and Asian exports to drive economic growth.

"Going forward, countries with large surpluses must shift away from an unhealthy dependence on exports and take steps to boost domestic demand. As I said, going forward, no nation should assume that their path to prosperity is simply paved with exports to America," he said.

Noting that he has set a goal of doubling US exports over the next five years, Obama said: "Over the course of this trip, we've made good progress towards our export goals. While we were in India, I was pleased to announce a set of trade deals that total nearly USD 10 billion in US exports."

From medical equipment and helicopters to turbines and mining equipment, these deals support more than 50,000 jobs in the US.

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