(Submitted by Ayush)
As a weakened US President Barack Obama has arrived for a 10-day trip to Asia, security, trade and economic issues will top his agenda.
If a sagging US economy has been blamed for his Democratic Party’s loss in the mid-term election, reviving the economy would be the key to renewing his presidency, and economic issues are sure to top his agenda.
Ahead of his visit, Obama described India as a “cornerstone of the US engagement in Asia”, but held out no assurances on key issues — support for India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council and ending curbs on export of dual-use technology.
That clearly indicates that he will not endorse anything that could land him in more trouble than he already finds himself and his party in.
Obama has also stressed that his India sojourn would provide him with an opportunity to work with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring Indo-US cooperation on a broad range of issues to a new level, but if he skirts important issues like CTBT and UNSC, the outcome of this visit may have no important bearing for either country.
In the run-up to Obama’s visit, India has been at the recieving end of the Obama’s administration obsessive emphasis on job creation at home and it is no secret that Obama is not a huge fan of outsourcing.
On the other hand, formality demands that the White House give a positive spin to theIndo-Us economic engagement.At a recent briefing on Obama’s visit to India, his deputy national economic advisor, Mike Froman, underlined the importance of India as an important destination for American exports and a source of foreign investment.
Let’s take a look at some of the major issues that are been discussed by both the countries:
What India expects:
* Support on India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council
* Inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (removal of DRDO and ISRO from the blacklist)
* Bigger role for India in Afghanistan, particularly with future regimes in Kabul
* Greater access to US markets for Indian goods and services
* Consideration for India’s strategic concerns in the region and beyond
What US expects:
* Indian support to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan
* Help to ensure no single country dominates Asian geopolitics
* Access to Indian market for US companies
* Permission for US firms to sell new seed technology in India
* A big share of the Indian civil nuclear market
But prior to his visit to India, Obama had been in the news for his not very positive take on issues that are close to India:
What Obama said:
On whether he can lift curbs on export of dual-use technology items to India, and support permanent membership for India at the UNSC: ''Very difficult and complicated'' !(although yesterday he made a surprise announcement supporting india for the permanent membership at the UNSC in speech to MPs in parliament.)
Well Mr. Obama is in India for one more day and we all hope for some more surprising statements by the president.right now,his visit seems to be more STYLE than SUBSTANCE !