Trade imbalance to be on G-20 agenda in Seoul: Obama

Trade imbalance to be on G-20 agenda in Seoul: Obama

New Delhi: Describing India as a “part of the solution", US President Barack Obama said on Monday that the burning issue of international trade imbalance will be discussed by global leaders at the G-20 meeting in Seoul next week.

“When we go to the G-20, we are going to talk about a host of issues, including how do we start creating balanced and sustainable growth... How do we make sure that countries that may have extended themselves for a long time start getting their houses in order," Obama said in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after a delegation-level talks in New Delhi.

The US has been vocal against a huge trade surplus of China at $190 billion. It has also conveyed its displeasure over value of yuan which the US believes is undervalued to help the Chinese exporters at the cost of the American and other economies.

Obama emphasised that his country has no complaints against India as the trade balance is concerned.

The India-US trade of $36.6 billion is balanced.

In 2009, India exported goods worth $19.53 billion to the US and imported American goods worth $16.97 billion.

“I should point out that India is a part of the solution and not part of the problem... Generally, there is a balanced growth pattern with respect to India... We have got excellent trade ties with India," he said.

Even though in his meetings in Mumbai, Obama had asked for removal of trade barriers by India, he said at the joint press conference, “India has been moving in a more liberal direction consistently and has been very constructive partner in some of these international issues."

Without making reference to any specific country, the Indian Prime Minister said, he has an expectation from the G-20 meeting in Seoul for working towards a balanced global trade. “The world needs a new balance between deficit countries and surplus countries..."

Singh said that this balance can be achieved by paying more attention to development potential, including infrastructure development.

Singh described Obama as “father" of G-20. “It was his initiative that led to the creation of G-20," the Prime Minister said.

The G-20 is a grouping of world’s most influential developing and developed countries including India, China, Brazil, Russia, US, Germany, France, among others.

Its Seoul meet is the fifth since it met for the first time in 2008 in Washington in the backdrop of the world financial crisis.