India-Switzerland relations

  • The President of India said that Switzerland and India are natural partners.
  • A Treaty of Friendship between India and Switzerland signed in New Delhi in August 1948 was one of the first treaties tobe signed by independent India. This year marks the 70th year of the treaty.
  • Both India and Switzerland represent democratic and plural societies that believe in the principles of “respect for differences” and “unity in diversity”.
Importance of Switzerland in the Multilateral Order:
  • Restructuring of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions. India recently secured the support of Switzerland for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • Tackling urgent challenges of international terrorism and radicalism, as well as of financial and cyber-crimes and ofInternet governance.
  • Meeting pressing concerns of climate change and attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • India is keen to build synergies with Switzerland in all of these endeavours, while working within the framework ofthe rules-based multilateral system.
Trade and Investment:
  • Switzerland is an important trading partner for India outside the EU.
  • President of Switzerland Ms. Doris Leuthard hoped for an early conclusion of the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EFTA members include Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
  • Switzerland talked of an investment protection framework to be the base of the new era of cooperation.
  • About 100 Indian companies have invested about USD 1.2 billion between 2012 and 2014 in Switzerland, placing it among the top five European investment destinations and top-ten places globally for Indian investors.
  • India and Switzerland share common priorities in boosting the share of renewables in their energy mix.
  • A number of joint projects are already under way in energy efficiency and renewable energies and holds further potential aswell.
  • Example- CapaCITIES, where Switzerland is helping municipal authorities in India to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Black money:
  • The recent joint declaration on the mutualautomatic exchange of financial account information gains ground on India’s fight against black money.
Future prospects:
  • Data Security and IPR: Switzerland emphasised IPR.
  • Infrastructure: Switzerland’s experience in major rail infrastructure projects (like Gotthard tunnel) can best be used by India for its public transport vision.
  • The two countries need to pursue closer business partnerships in priority sectors such as precision and high technology manufacturing, infrastructure and clean-tech research. There is scope for creating partnerships between R&D labs and institutions.



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