Business India

Modi meets Swiss President ahead of delegation talks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Swiss President Doris Leuthard here on Thursday ahead of delegation-level talks between the two sides.

“Deepening ties for mutual development,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. He said Modi received Leuthard at Hyderabad House.

The two leaders then attended a meeting of business leaders of India and Switzerland.

Earlier, Leuthard, on a four-day visit, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Leuthard later paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat and also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who called on her to discuss a wide range of issues.

“I hope this visit will boost Indo-Swiss ties. Pending negotiations on trade and partnership will be done. We will try to have a new investment protection agreement,” Leuthard said after the ceremonial welcome.

“Switzerland is one of the most innovative countries in the world… that will bring jobs to India,” she added.

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

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.

About 100 Indian companies have invested around $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.

Modi visited Switzerland in June 2016 in what was the first Prime Ministerial visit from India in decades.

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

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