April 29, 2010

Obama launches US-Muslim business exchange programme


by Benjamin Graham

US President Barack Obama has announced a series of business and educational exchanges between the US and the Muslim world.

The plans, unveiled by Obama to Muslim entrepreneurs from 50 countries at a summit in Washington, are part of an effort to improve relations between America and Muslim countries.

“Real change comes from the bottom up, and that is why we are here,” Obama said at the summit.

“The new beginning we seek is not only possible, it has already begun.”

Under the exchange programme, Muslim business people will be given the opportunity to invest in Silicon Valley, technology, telecommunications, health care, education, and infrastructure.

The market is the most powerful force to create change and help people out of poverty, Obama said.

Obama first promised to hold the business summit during his landmark speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last year.

In the 2009 speech, the President called for a “new beginning” in US -Muslim relations, and said both sides need to make a “sustained effort to respect one another and seek common ground.”

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