Washington, Nov 5 (PTI) US President Barack Obama left for Mumbai today, saying he would seek to pry open the Indian market for American businesses during his maiden visit to the country that is expected to give a fresh impetus to bilateral strategic and economic partnership.
In a statement before leaving for his four-nation Asia tour starting with India, Obama said he would be talking about opening up of additional markets in countries like India as American jobs depended greatly on American exports. He said his administration had set a goal of doubling US exports over the next five years to create more jobs back home.
"It is absolutely clear that the key to creating new jobs is opening markets for American goods made by American workers.
"And that is why on the trip I am undertaking, I will be talking about opening up additional markets in places like India," said Obama, close on the heels of Democrats' recent drubbing in US mid-term elections, largely attributed to the discontent over his government's handling of unemployment and economy.Pointing out that American businesses need to sell more products abroad for creating more jobs at home, Obama said he said: "I am looking very much forward to helping to pry open markets for American businesses".
He said focusing on the future, rather than on the "next election" was key to the success of the American future.
In his Roosevelt Room remarks on the latest job figures, minutes before he boarded Marine One from the White House lawns, Obama said: "Our prosperity depends not just on consuming things, but also on being the maker of things. In fact, for every USD 1 billion we increase in exports, thousands of jobs are supported here at home".With the recent election, that has given the control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans heavy on his mind, Obama said political differences cannot be allowed to create a deadlock in the country.
"We can't spend the next two years mired in gridlock... Our future depends on putting politics aside to solve problems, to worry about the next generation instead of the next election," he asserted.
"Other countries, like China, aren't standing still. So we can't stand still either. We've got to move forward," he said.Earlier, the National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer, said India is an indispensable partner rising on global stage and that lifting restrictions on export control of high technology items and counter-terrorism measures were on the agenda during summit talks.
The White House also said that it supports and encourages both India and Pakistan to resolve their bilateral issues directly, noting that Islamabad has nothing to fear from Washington's growing ties with New Delhi.
Obama is due to hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday.
Hammer said lifting of restrictions on exports of dual use items is something that will come up in the course of Obama's visit to India.
"I don't, again, want to get ahead of ourselves in terms of any potential announcements, but it is complicated, and we're working through it," he added.