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Obama lauds Boeing, Lion Air agreement

Obama lauds Boeing, Lion Air agreement
United States President Barack Obama with the W. James McNerney, Jr. ,CEO of Boeing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday, November 12, 2011. UPI/Kent Nishimura | License Photo

DENPASAR, Indonesia, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Friday called the huge Boeing-Lion Air deal "a remarkable example" of the trade opportunities in the Asia Pacific region.

Obama arrived in Bali, Indonesia, from Australia for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other summits, a trip coinciding with American foreign policy's focus pivoting to greater military and economic involvement in the Asian Pacific region where the China's growing strength remains a concern.

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In Australia, Obama had told its Parliament, "The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay," while assuring greater U.S. military involvement in the region as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.

Speaking in Bali on the multibillion-dollar Boeing 777 deal, Obama said: "This is a remarkable example of the trade investment and commercial opportunities that exist in the Asia Pacific region."

"For the last several days I've been talking about how we have to make sure that we've got a presence in this region, that it can result directly in jobs at home."

The president described Lion Air as one of the fastest-growing carriers in the world and that the deal with Boeing would support more than 100,000 U.S. jobs over a long period of time.

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The deal, which calls for the sale of more than 200 aircraft, is an "example of how we are going to achieve the long-term goal that I set of doubling U.S. exports over the next several years."

Obama later met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for bilateral talks.

Standing with Singh, Obama said the United States and India have continued to make progress on a "wide range of issues."

The Obama administration has been paying closer attention to strengthening relations with India, the world's largest democracy, a nuclear weapons state and a growing economy with tremendous trade opportunities.

"This will be an outstanding opportunity for us to continue to explore how we can work together, not only on bilateral issues but also in a multilateral forum like the East Asia Summit [which follows the ASEAN meeting], which we believe can be the premier arena for us to be able to work together on a wide range of issues -- maritime security or non-proliferation, as well as expanding the kind of cooperation on disaster relief and humanitarian aid that is so important," Obama said.

Singh also noted progress in bilateral relations since Obama's India visit a year ago.

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"I'm very happy to report to you that there are today no irritants whatsoever in our working together in a multiplicity of areas, both bilateral, regional and global issues," Singh was quoted as saying.

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