Kolkata: India and Switzerland have enjoyed a warm and friendly relationship based on shared values of democracy, multiculturalism and the rule of law. Independent India’s policy of non-alignment and Switzerland’s traditional policy of neutrality helped to develop a close understanding between the leaders of the two countries in the early years. The business collaboration between Swiss and Indian companies has been growing robustly since then.
To further enhance the bilateral relations between India and Switzerland, Confederation of Indian Industry organized an interactive session with H E Dr Linus von Castelmur, Ambassador of Switzerland to India here in Kolkata today.
H.E. Dr Linus von Castelmur, Ambassador of Switzerland to India & Bhutan while addressing the gathering recalled that the emergence of friendship between India and Switzerland formally started with the Treaty of Friendship and Establishment of 1948 and was strengthened in various fields such as development, economy, and culture. The exchanges between the two countries have since increased manifold.
Despite the global economic slowdown, Indo-Swiss trade graph has been looking upwards. The two way trade expanded from USD 7.03 billion in 2005-06 to USD 15.3 billion in 2009-10, i.e. more than doubling in 5 years. Switzerland has a strong business hub apart from the embassy operating in different parts of India to promote and enhance bilateral trade relations and opportunities.
He informed “Switzerland is taking an initiative to organise a CEOs conclave in September this year in Kolkata. This would indeed provide a strong, innovative platform to chalk out mutually beneficial trade strategies.”
Swiss companies have been actively participating in providing modern technologies and high tech products to various industrial sectors in India for a long time. This is evident from the fact that now nearly 170 Swiss companies have their joint ventures or subsidiaries in India. The business collaboration between Swiss and Indian companies has been growing robustly for a long time. Some of the main items of Indian exports to Switzerland are textiles and garments, organic chemicals, precious stones and jewellery, dyestuffs, machinery and parts, leather products etc while India’s imports from Swiss consist of machinery and equipment (electrical and mechanical), precision instruments, pharmaceutical products dyes and chemicals, Fertilizers, Watches etc.
He ended his address by saying, “This is the opportune moment to capture the untapped opportunities lying ahead of the two countries.”