Washington, Apr 20: US President George W Bush has said his country needs to invest in cutting edge technology to keep pace with 21st century job skills to compete with India and China over jobs and natural resources.
A day before his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, scheduled for today, President Bush made special mention of India and China to drive home the point how these two populous nations have risen by investing in science and research development to compete in a global market.
In a speech at Tuskegee University yesterday, he said, ''These countries are emerging nations. They are growing rapidly and they provide competition for jobs and natural resources.'' ''As these new jobs of the 21st century come into being, people are going to hire people with the skills set,'' he said adding ''And if our folks don't have the skill set, those jobs are going to go somewhere else.'' ''The world has really changed, since at least when I was growing up, where competition might have been around, but it didn't really nearly affect the lives of our citizens as much as it does today,'' the President added.
Asserting that America should not be afraid of competition he said, ''We ought to welcome it, and continue to be the leader of the world and the world's economy. We ought to continue to be the leader in research and development. We need to continue to be the leader in higher education. We shouldn't lose our nerve. We shouldn't see the future and fear the future; we ought to welcome the future. And here are some things we need to do to make sure we shape the future.'' Spelling out the steps needed to make Americans more competitive in a globalised world, President Bush addede he would work with Congress ''to increase federal support for vital, basic research to make sure that we're on the leading edge of change and technology.'' ''I don't know if you realise this, but because of Defense Department spending in the past, and because of the research that the Defense Department was doing to enhance communication, to improve military communications, the Internet came to be,'' he said.
The President also urged the Congress to make permanent a popular tax credit for businesses that invest in research and development.
''It's research that will keep the United States on the cutting edge,'' he said.
He remarked that government-funded research contributed to the development of the iPod music player.
President Bush said countries like India and China were also encouraging research and development. ''Because they know what we know, that if you come up with new products and are constantly on the leading edge of change and innovation, the standard of living for the people in the country in which these investments are made goes up.''