Starting today, I have the honor of accompanying President Obama on a 10-day journey where we will visit India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. This is an important trip because it provides an opportunity to strengthen U.S. leadership and economic competitiveness, to forge new partnerships and strengthen old ones, and to make progress on issues that are important to the American people, such as increasing our exports so that we can create well-paying jobs here in the United States.
To give you an idea of what we will be doing on the trip, here is a brief rundown of the schedule. The trip begins in Mumbai, India, where the President will attend a business summit with entrepreneurs and American CEOs to discuss the challenges and opportunities of doing business in India, recognizing the potential for both countries to expand growth and opportunity. The President will also host a town hall with university students, which will give him the opportunity to engage with the students on various issues, including the future partnership that we would like to build with India into the 21st century. While in India, I will also be meeting with a small group of women’s organizations to discuss issues related to women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment. I am looking forward to these meetings to learn about their work and to share my experiences as Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Next, we travel to Indonesia, where the President will be meeting with President Yudhoyono in Jakarta. He will also deliver a speech to the Indonesian people that will touch upon the themes of democracy and development, outreach to Muslim communities around the world, while also speaking of Indonesia’s pluralism and tolerance.
Then, we’ll travel to South Korea, where the President will commemorate Veterans Day by speaking to U.S. troops at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. He will honor all American veterans, particularly those who’ve served in the Korean War and on the Korean Peninsula for the last 60 years. The President will also be attending the G20 Summit, where a broad range of issues will be discussed, including global economic recovery, clean energy, trade, development, and anti-corruption. The last leg of this trip will be in Yokohama, Japan, where the President will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. Along the way, the President will also have bilateral meetings with the leaders of China, Korea, Australia, Japan, Germany and Russia.
As you can see, we have a full agenda ahead of us these next 10 days, an agenda that is not only critical to our foreign policy strategy, but one that is critical to strengthening our economy here in the United States. Asia has some of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world, so our effort on this trip will be critical to our economic recovery and increasing our ability to create jobs here at home.
I look forward to sharing additional updates about this trip upon our return.
Valerie Jarett is Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls