Seeking changes in liability law; US says BIT next step

"Completing our civil nuclear partnership is central to both our nations' long-term prosperity and India's future energy security.

For international and Indian firms to participate in India's civil nuclear sector, India needs a nuclear liability regime consistent with international standards," Deputy Secretary of State, William J Burns said.

"To this end, we welcome India's commitment to ratify the Convention on Supplemental Compensation later this year, and we encourage India to engage with the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that India's liability regime fully conforms with the international requirements under the Convention," he said in his remarks.

Burns was speaking at a seminar on Indo-US ties organised jointly by the Brookings Institute and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Burns said the next step in the pursuit of mutual prosperity is a US-India bilateral investment treaty, which would enhance transparency, boost innovation, and create jobs.

"Technical negotiations are about to get underway, and we must continue to make progress.

Just as the United States will be integral to India's sustained economic growth and its efforts to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty, India's emergence will be integral to long-term US economic prosperity," he argued.

In her remarks on the occasion, Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, said the two countries are now working on a bilateral investment treaty that would ensure predictability for investors, and support economic growth and job creation in both countries.

"The US businesses with their leadership role in technology, product development, research and innovation are already strong partners in India's economic growth story; and the Indian businesses are creating value, wealth and jobs in the US," Rao said.
The Civil Nuclear Initiative that has become a symbol of India-US's transformed relationship grew out of India's conviction that nuclear energy could help it meet its energy requirements in an environmentally sustainable manner.

"There are immense opportunities for US companies in this sector and Indian and US companies are already in discussions to set up nuclear power plants in India.

On its part, the Government of India is committed to provide a level playing field for all our international partners," Rao said in her remarks.

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