Indian, Chinese are potential customers: Obama

Washington: Appreciative of achievements made in a short span of time by India and China in areas like poverty alleviation, US President Barack Obama has told top CEOs from the Asia-Pacific region that people of the two Asian giants are "potential customers" for the future.

"Whether it`s China, whether it`s India, these emerging countries, what they`re accomplishing in a few short decades — alleviating poverty, helping ordinary people all around the world get access to opportunity — that`s a wonderful thing that we should be rooting for," Obama said in his address to APEC CEO Business Summit at Honolulu in Hawaii.

People in these two countries "are potential customers for us in the future," he said. Obama said his administration has created a frank dialogue with the Chinese over the last two years that has benefited both countries. "My general view is that there can be a friendly and constructive competition between the United States and China, and a whole range of areas where we share common interests and we should be able to cooperate," he said.

"We should be rooting for China to grow, because not only does that then present an enormous marketplace for American businesses and American exports, but to see so many millions of people, hundreds of millions of people, lifted out of poverty is a remarkable achievement," he said. At the same time, Obama said his administration has exhibited in terms of its interactions with the Chinese that it wants Beijing to play by the rules.

"And currency is probably a good example. There are very few economists who do not believe that the RMB is not undervalued. And that makes exports to China more expensive, and it makes exports from China cheaper. That disadvantages American business; it disadvantages American workers," he said.

"We have said to them that this is something that has to change — and, by the way, it would actually be good for China`s economy if they refocused on their domestic market, that kind of appreciation of their currency would help the overall balance of payments globally and it would increase growth in China and increase growth here in the United States," Obama said.