Asia is eager for American engagement, leadership: Obama

Barack Obama said the US should feel confident about its ability to compete.

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2010, 08:52 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama has said that Asian countries are eager for American engagement and leadership.

"I think all of Asia is eager for American engagement and leadership. We saw that in India; we saw it in Indonesia; we saw it -- during the G20 and we saw it during APEC," Obama told reporters on Air Force One on Sunday, while winding his 10-day trip to Asia.

Stressing that this eagerness was not only from the leaders, he said, "I was struck when I was at the first school that we went to in Mumbai, and those young kids who were talking about the environment and green technology”.

"On the way down, I said, `Well, what are you guys` plans?` `Well, we`re of course going to go to college.` I said, `Where are you going to go?` `Well, America, of course.`"

Obama said inspite of a few tough years faced by the US, the country is still "central" and leaders and people from Asian nations want them.

The US President said he also got the impression that these countries are marching ahead.

"Now, the second strong impression is, those folks are moving. Korea, China, India, the entire Southeast Asian region -- Japan -- all of them recognise how competitive things are and that they are thinking each and every day about how to educate their workforce, rebuild their infrastructure, enter into new markets," he said.

Referring to the tough competition faced by the US from Asian countries in various fields including science and technology, he said the US should feel confident about its ability to compete but will have to step up its game.

PTI