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India not stealing US jobs: PM

After a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the US President drove to Hyderabad House from Rajghat, to begin talks with the Prime Minister.
More from the visit | In Pictures:Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: November 8, 2010  | 18:36 IST

India on Monday asserted it was not in the business of stealing American jobs, even as US President Barack Obama said deals with India to create 50,000 jobs back home were aimed at assuaging US citizens' fears.

"India is not in the business of stealing jobs from the US... outsourcing (work to India) has helped improve the productive capacity and productivity of America," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a joint press conference with visiting US President Barack Obama, at Hyderabad House here.

The two leaders committed to enhance bilateral cooperation in technology transfer, enhancement of trade and investment flow, to create jobs in the respective nations and raise the living standards.

Replying to a question on outsourcing, the US President, who earlier met Prime Minister Singh and held delegation-level talks, said both countries were operating on stereotypes that have outlived their usefulness and clarified that he hasn't raised the outsourcing bogey during this trip.

To a specific question on the purpose of his visit, Obama said part of the reason why he advertised creation of 50,000 jobs from deals signed in Mumbai during his visit, was to tell people in America why he spent so much time in India.

His visit came in the backdrop of electoral reverses in the US Congress for Obama's Democratic party, amid criticism of his economic policies and the President summed up the situation, saying people were frustrated with high unemployment level and difficult economic conditions.

During his visit, over 20 deals worth $10 billion were signed between the corporations of the two nations.

Obama reasoned the relationship between the two nations as a defining partnership of the 21st century, and acknowledged India's emergence as a prominent and key player on the global stage.

On his part, Singh welcomed American initiative and commitment to support India, saying this was essential for sustaining 9-10 per cent growth over the next three decades.

He pointed out India needed $one-trillion investment in infrastructure over the next five years.

One of the major steps agreed during Obama's visit was lifting of controls in exports of technology by the US to India. The US has strict export control regime for the know-how, which has applications for both military and civil uses, and India was denied the same.

"We will remove Indian organisations from the so-called entity list, allowing greater cooperation in a range of hi-tech sector like civil space and defence," he said.

The Indian Prime Minister hailed US' decision and said: "This is a manifestation of growing trust and confidence of each other."

In his opening remarks, Obama stressed on the US expanded trade and investments to create prosperity for the people of the two nations. "The major trade deals that were signed in Mumbai were a clear step forward in elevating India as US's top trading partner."

"We have agreed to keep reducing trade barriers and resist protectionism," he added.

Obama said the purchase of US Cargo planes by India will create 22,000 jobs in America.

The two countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in several areas, including agriculture. The cooperation would cover weather and crop forecast, critical to Indian agriculture, which employs more than 50 per cent of its people, Singh said.

Replying to a question on concerns in the US over trade surpluses in several countries, Obama praised India for maintaining a balance.

"India has been a part of the solution and not problem," he said.

The issue of big trade surplus by China and problems relating to its currency are likely to come up in the next meeting of the global G-20 leaders next week in Seoul, South Korea.

Singh said the US is one of India's largest trading partners and "our trade is balanced. India is among the fastest growing sources of investment in the US and the investments have helped increase competitiveness of the US economy."

Total trade between the two nations is over $36.5 billion in 2009-10, with exports constituting $19.53 billion and imports $16.97 billion.

A number of memorandum of understandings (MoUs) were signed between the two countries. These related to energy cooperation, shale gas resources, petroleum and natural gas.

The energy cooperation covered assessment of shale gas resources in Indian basins. The US geological survey will carry out studies in this area and help India tide over its energy shortages.

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