September 21, 2009 / 10:01 AM / 8 years ago

Obama to focus on US innovation in New York speech

* Obama to push domestic economic programs in N.Y.

* Program builds on $100 billion of stimulus funds

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama travels to New York on Monday to promote his strategy to improve the U.S. economy by spending on education and innovation, as he shifts his focus from healthcare reform to a week of diplomacy and international economic issues.

Obama will talk about his strategy, building on more than $100 billion in economic stimulus funds, as well as regulatory and other initiatives, in a speech at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, a city in eastern New York 140 miles (225 km) north of New York City, the White House said in a statement.

The plan includes developing an advanced information technology system, restoring U.S. leadership in basic research, improving education, development of clean energy, advanced vehicle technology and information technology for use in healthcare, and promotion of U.S. exports, the statement said.

“For this purpose, government has a key role to play. A modern, practical approach recognizes both the need for government to lay the foundations for innovation and the hazards of overzealous government intervention,” it said.

The statement echoed Obama’s recent calls to broadly develop the U.S. economy, rather than spending on one sector, such as finance or consumer spending.

“Explosive growth in one sector of the economy has provided a short-term boost while masking long-term weaknesses,” it said.

Obama has sought in recent weeks to highlight the signs of an improving economy to try to boost his popularity, which has suffered amid a heated debate over his plan to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

He was traveling to New York City later on Monday day for the start of his biggest week on the world stage.

The nuclear dispute with Iran and the Afghan war will be among the top issues as Obama begins three days of U.N. meetings on Tuesday. He will lay out his foreign policy vision in his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.

In the shadow of a financial meltdown that triggered fears of another Great Depression, Obama will host a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 world’s biggest economies on Thursday and Friday in Pittsburgh. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by Chris Wilson)

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