On 6th June 2016, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Switzerland, where he delivered a joint statement with Swiss President Joann Schneider-Ammann to deepen multilateral and bilateral cooperation. During this press conference, PM Modi said that both countries have been the voice of peace, understanding and humanitarian values in the world. For the past many years, we have shared strong bond of friendship and this collaboration has provided many benefits to both countries in various fields like technology, trade, science and investment.

Shri Narendra Modi mentioned that Switzerland and India have also shared a commitment to reform the international institutions in line with current global realities. He praised the strength of Swiss Economy and said that India has also been top listed among the countries who have achieved fastest economic growth With an aim to increase the economic values, PM Modi said that he wanted his nation’s economy to be driven by the sustainable and smart cities, dynamic service centers, productive manufacturing sectors and robust farm sectors.

Mentioning the brilliant talent of more than 500 million young generation in India, he said that we are always ready to meet the global needs of manpower. Our young generation has achieved splendid success in various fields like education, research based projects, sports, digital technology, inventions, renewable energy sources etc. In order to create a healthy living environment, we have also executed solar projects in different states covering many rural areas. He stated that environment protection is our prime motto.

PM Modi said that the economic links between India and Switzerland are strong and vibrant. In the past years, we have observed a perfect bond between our development requirements and Swiss strengths. He was thankful to the President for the agreement to build Swiss Vocational and Education Training System which will also consider the needs of India. He encouraged and invited the Swiss Companies to become the key partner in the economic growth of India as it can be beneficial for the entire world in determined ways.

According to PM Modi, the strong connection of the people of India and Switzerland will be an important base and benchmark of our linkages. To strengthen this bond of friendship, we have also opened the facilities of e-tourists visa for Swiss nationals. He mentioned that the common commitments and values, people to people link and a strong economic partnership of both countries will take our relation to new heights.

The highlights of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visit to Switzerland are:

Economic Interest: According to statistical reports, it has been observed that Switzerland is the fifth largest trading partner and eleventh biggest investor in India. The sectors where both countries are involved and contributed their efforts are: vocational education and renewable energy.

NSG Membership: NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries who prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of equipment, materials, and technology that can be used to manufacture the nuclear weapons. As Switzerland is the member of the nuclear supplier group so PM Modi want the involvement and support to gain entry into the elite club of 48 nations. India has already applied for the NSG membership and PM Modi wants this deal to get agreed by the official members as this will help to control the export of nuclear materials and technology.

Black Money: Switzerland and India have considered the issues of black money and had a long discussion on taxation process. India is keen on an automatic exchange of information about individuals who fail to disclose their foreign assets in order to discourage the stashing of ill-gotten wealth abroad. In India, the government has taken various steps to fight against black money scam cases.

Meeting with Swiss CEO’s: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had a meeting with the Swiss CEOs in Geneva, where he focused on deepening economic ties of India and Switzerland. Many Swiss business sectors participated in this meeting, including ABB, Novartis, Rieter, Lafarge, Nestle, Roche etc. While addressing the business leaders there, PM Modi mentioned the growth of Indian Economy in the last few years. He stated that both countries should come together for the development needs which can be beneficial in many ways. He also met a group of Indian Scientists and students at CERN.

PM Modi was thankful to the President of Switzerland for understanding and contributing support for the membership of India as Nuclear Supplier Group. Switzerland is one of the top economies of the world these days and associating with this country will benefit India. There are many things to learn from Switzerland that can help in terms of development of hill stations into more viable destinations. PM Modi has tried his level best to get some Swiss Investors in India in order to provide help to develop rail facilities in the mountainous and hilly areas.

Contributor: Sunpreet Kaur