India

Switzerland President to visit India

Switzerland President to visit India

New Delhi: President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard will come on a three-day state visit to India from August 30 in what will be just the fourth visit by a Swiss President to India, the External Affairs Ministry said on Monday.

“The Swiss President will be accompanied by senior government officials and a large business delegation of leading Swiss companies,” the ministry said in a statement.

Leuthard will meet President Ram Nath Kovind and hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other ministers will also call on the visiting dignitary.

Switzerland is the seventh largest trading partner for India with the total bilateral trade including merchandise exports, bullion and IT services and software exports, amounting to $18.2 billion in 2016-17.

Bilateral trade has a share of 2.76 per cent in India’s total global trade and has shown a mixed trend due to the global economic slowdown.

From April 2000 to September 2016, Switzerland invested approximately $3.57 billion in India, thus becoming the 11th largest investor and accounting for about 1.2 per cent of total foreign direct investment (FDI) in India during this period.

About 100 Indian companies have invested about $1.42 billion between 2013-14 and 2015-16 in Switzerland, placing it among the top five European investment destinations and top 10 places globally for Indian investors.

Major Indian IT companies including TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra have their offices in that country and provide services to major Swiss pharmaceutical companies, banks and insurance firms.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Switzerland in June 2016 in what was the first prime ministerial visit from India in several decades.

During the course of that visit, Switzerland expressed support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The issue of black money parked by Indians in Swiss banks also came up for discussion.

Swiss Presidents have earlier visited India in 1998, 2003 and 2007.

–IANS