Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Obama Asian Trip

President Obama leaves tomorrow for a trip to Asia and returns November 14, spending time in India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. He will attend meetings of the G20 and the Asia Pacific Economic Conference. I assume that he will be focusing on economic issues -- increasing U.S. exports (increases which will have to come mostly in Asian markets) and currency exchange rates to cut imports from Asia to the United States. He will of course include concerns for national security, especially with respect to North Korea.

Indonesia is an important country for U.S. foreign policy for many reasons including its size, its status as a Muslim democracy, and its economic growth. Still, one can hope that President Obama will take the opportunity to announce a foreign assistance initiative in Indonesia, and that that initiative will include a strong element of science and technology collaboration and capacity building.

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