US seeks strong investor protection rules in bilateral pact

Jan 29 2013, 15:13 IST
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With an aim to boost bilateral investments, US and Indian governments are engaged in BIT negotiations.  (Reuters) With an aim to boost bilateral investments, US and Indian governments are engaged in BIT negotiations. (Reuters)
SummaryWith an aim to boost bilateral investments, US and Indian governments are engaged in BIT negotiations.

US has sought a high level of openness, strong rules on investor protection and effective means for resolving investment disputes under its proposed Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with India.

"We're aiming for a BIT that gives a high level of openness to investment across the economy, provides strong rules on investor protection and transparency, and offers

effective means for resolving investment disputes," said Robert D Hormats, US Under Secretary Of State for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment.

He was speaking at the CII's Global Partnership Summit last evening.

With an aim to boost bilateral investments, the US and Indian governments are engaged in BIT negotiations.

Under the science and technology cooperation, Hormats said, the two nations are working together on earth observation satellite projects which would help in predicting monsoon patterns and respond to natural disasters.

On energy sector, he said the US is seeking a broader and deeper dialogue on energy.

The Clean Energy Finance Center in New Delhi which represents US agencies has mobilised over USD 1.7 billion for projects in India.

"We both benefit from our comprehensive strategic dialogue on energy, in light of dramatic changes in technology and in the global energy market.

"This dialogue takes on even more importance with the growing role of the Indian Ocean in global energy shipments, regional energy and maritime security, growing power needs, and sustainable clean energy objectives," he said.

He further said although both the sides have come far, "we still have more work to do to ensure this relationship achieves its potential."

The visiting official said the US is enormously optimistic about India's future that New Delhi's greater role on the world stage will enhance peace and security and further opening of the markets will pave the way to greater regional and global prosperity.

"But our governments cannot assume the relationship will be self-sustaining without mutual effort. This is the challenge we all face today. We have the opportunity to establish a framework for enduring growth for our two countries," he added.

Hormats also stressed that collaborative effort is required in the agriculture sector, mainly in the efforts to stop food loss between the farmer and the consumer.

"This can be prevented by cold chain storage and other methods. Companies are willing to invest in such systems if given the right opportunities and a welcoming environment," he said.

He said innovators in areas such as IT, pharma, and clean energy need assurance that their ideas will be protected throughout the process.

"It encourages more innovation and investment in these sectors. That is why we strongly support working together with India and other nations of Asia to ensure a strong intellectual property rights system that will encourage high-technology innovations, providing widespread benefits to all of our nations," he said.

He further said the US also encourages India to consider a range of market-based solutions that can better support jobs and growth, while creating a level playing field. "Predictable and clear policies will encourage businesses to expand, and to devote the long-term capital and resources required for further growth," he said.

He said when people ask why the US is so interested in expanding its ties with India, "my response is three-fold Ė One, our ties make geo-strategic sense. Two, they make

geo-economic sense. And three, and most importantly, our citizens will benefit from it".

He added that the US sees ASEAN and India as two of the strongest pillars of the global economies in the 21st century.

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