US seeks strong investor protection rules in bilateral pact

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"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 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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