'Obama, Manmohan developed fantastic working relations'

'Obama, Manmohan developed fantastic working relations'

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Updated: Friday, July 27, 2012, 14:32 [IST]

Manmohan Singh and Barack Obama
Washington, Jul 27: US President Barack Obama has developed a "fantastic working relationship" with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a senior administration official has said, asserting that the US recognises "importance" of India as a key regional and global power.

"President Obama developed a fantastic working relationship with Prime Minister Singh that you're well aware of. We recognise importance of India as an important regional and global power, and this why we are keenly interested in continuing to grow that relationship," Mike Hammer, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, said.

The US looks to address "regional and global issues" of mutual concern between the two nations, Hammer said, noting that people from both the countries have "benefitted tremendously" from this relationship based on "common values".

Hammer also congratulated Pranab Mukherjee on being sworn in as the 13th President of India and said the US would "look forward to work with him" as well.

Responding to a question on India-US trade relationship and apprehensions in the US about India's investment climate, Hammer said the US has always looked for opportunities to promote American business and American jobs.

"As a way of promoting American businesses and jobs, we're always looking to advance free trade opportunities and develop the kind of important trade relations like the one with India, which, I think, can be beneficial to both countries," he said.

Acknowledging India as a crucial economic partner of the US, Hammer, however, pitched for "lower barriers" to ensure a "free and fair" level playing field to enable both the countries "compete" and look for best possible ways to "promote economic growth and business opportunities".

"When there's growth in India, that creates markets for American products," Hammer noted, calling for joint efforts for ensuring that "opportunities are available for US businesses" to succeed and to promote "an investment climate that is beneficial and allows economic growth."

"US will always be looking to create jobs for itself, but we also see that through our relationships and through increased trade, that does create increasing number of jobs not only in the country that we're partners with, but also at home. So I don't see a contradiction in that," Hammer said.

PTI

Story first published: Friday, July 27, 2012, 12:50 [IST]