INDO-SWISS RELATIONS GET A BOOST AS BOTH SIDES AGREE TO STRENGTHEN BILATERAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Date : 28 Mar 2007
Location : New Delhi
Indo-Swiss relations have received a major impetus with
high-level business-to-business contacts that took place at the Swiss Forum for
International Business, which was held in Zurich on March 27-28, with India as
the focus country. Shri Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Ms.
Doris Leuthard, Swiss Minister of Economy and Federal Councilor participated in
Earlier, the 10th Meeting of the Swiss India Joint Economic
Commission (JEC) took place in Grindelwald (Switzerland) on 26 March 2007. The
Swiss delegation was led by Ambassador Monika Rühl Burzi, Head of Bilateral
Economic Relations, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Government of
Switzerland and the Indian delegation was led by Shri O.P. Arya, Additional
Secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India. Representatives of
Swiss business and industry also
participated in the discussions.
The JEC noted with satisfaction the positive development in the
bilateral economic relationship and reiterated their commitment to further
enhance bilateral trade in view of the huge potential for widening and deepening
the trade basket. The sustained economic growth in India presents an attractive
opportunity to Swiss business to make investments in various sectors.
The delegations welcomed the initiative for setting up an India-
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Joint Study Group to explore the
feasibility of a broad-based trade and investment agreement between India and
EFTA. It was noted that the first meeting of the India-EFTA Joint Study Group is
scheduled to take place in April 2007.
Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the area of
Intellectual Property Rights and Geographical Indications by establishing a
formal structure through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate
dialogue between experts on both sides.
Discussions in the JEC covered cooperation in areas such as
Intellectual Property Rights, science and technology, organic products, food
processing, Air Services Agreement.
Both sides exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of
mutual concern including the present position of the Doha Round. Both sides
expressed their commitment to a rules based multilateral trading system.
2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Indo-Swiss
Treaty of Friendship. This would be an opportune time to organise a series of
promotional events and programmes in India as well as Switzerland with a focus
on strengthening the bilateral economic relationship.
The JEC noted with satisfaction the existing cooperation and
progress made in the areas of organic agricultural and marine products and
agreed to explore the possibilities of enhancing cooperation in the food
processing sector covering technological as well as infrastructure aspects.
The JEC identified information technology and tourism sectors as
having potential for larger bilateral economic flows.
Both sides agreed that henceforth the JEC shall meet annually.
The next meeting will be held in New Delhi in 2008.