YOKOHAMA, Japan – President Obama appealed to Asian leaders today for greater access to fast-growing markets, proclaiming “the United States is here to stay” and saying its prosperity is tied inextricably to the success of its Pacific trading partners.

“America is leading again in Asia,” Obama told a gathering of chief executives at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, stressing anew his goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years.

“For America, this is a jobs strategy,” the president said. “In this region, the United States sees a huge opportunity to increase our exports in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.”

At the same time, Obama said healthy competition need not cause ruptures in relationships between and among nations.

“There’s no need to view trade, commerce or economic growth as zero-sum games, where one country always has to prosper at the expense of another,” he said. “The story of Asia over the last few decades is the story of change so rapid and transformative that it may be without precedent in human history.”

While recognizing the spectacular economic growth in Asia, Obama said, “We want to get back to doing what America has always been known for: discovering, creating, and building the products that are sold all over the world.”

His speech came on his first full day in Japan, following a divisive G-20 summit in Seoul. There, he failed to win other international leaders’ backing for a get-tough policy toward China over on its currency stance. He also missed his goal of reaching agreement with longtime ally South Korea on a new free-trade pact.

But Obama told his audience he was pleased that the U.S. lead was followed in Seoul on the agreement by his summit partners on the development of a system of greater monitoring to help countries avoid the conditions and practices that caused the near-economic meltdown two years ago.

A defensive Obama had taken exception Friday to questions about whether his personal leadership or U.S. influence on the world stage — or both — had deteriorated. And he heard heavy criticism from some G-20 summit quarters over a decision by the Federal Reserve Board to buy up $600 billion worth of Treasury bonds, in a step that some likened to the sort of currency manipulation Washington has accused Beijing of pursuing.

In his speech to the CEOs, Obama chose to focus on progress he made on this 10-day Asia tour, his longest overseas trip since becoming president.

“Over the course of this trip,” he said, “we’ve made progress toward our export goals.” But he said more needs to be done.

“The United States is looking to expand trade and commerce throughout the Asia-Pacific,” he said. “Even though our exports to this region have risen by more than 60 percent over the last five years, our overall share of trade in the region has declined in favor of our competitors.”

“We want to change that,” the president said. “We don’t want to lose the opportunity to sell our goods and services in fast-growing markets.”

“The United States is here to stay,” he said. “We are invested in your success.”

Obama earlier sought to minimize discord at Seoul over U.S. policy, saying not every summit can be a game-changer.

“Instead of hitting home runs, sometimes we’re going to hit singles,” he said. “But they’re really important singles.”

Obama pointed to a consensus by 20 powerhouse and emerging economies on plans for a balanced economy, with the makings of a system to track and prevent unhealthy trade deficits and surpluses, an initiative that lacks enforcement.