India - Switzerland relationship

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29-Aug-2017

Why in news?

The President of the Swiss Confederation is set to visit India to hold extensive talks on a range of issues in bilateral relationship.

How has India-Swiss relationship been?

  • Switzerland’s favourable gesture to India started off with the swift recognition of India’s independence in 1947.
  • Subsequently,  the conclusion of the Treaty of Friendship in 1948 officially laid the foundations for diplomatic engagement between the two countries.
  • Numerous agreements in a wide range of areas have been concluded between the two countries.
  • These include trade, investment, development cooperation, education, visas, migration, air transport and science and technology.
  • The recent joint declaration on the mutual automatic exchange of financial account information gains ground on India's fight against black money.
  • India has been one of Switzerland’s most important trading partners in Asia, and Switzerland is the 11th largest foreign investor in India.
  • Swiss direct investment in India had led to the creation of around  1,00,000 jobs.

What are the future prospects?

  • The upcoming visit aims at deepening the cooperation to address global challenges for the benefit of both the countries.
  • The mutual opportunities offered by openness and cooperation gains significance in a time of increasing nationalism and protectionism in global nations.
  • The free trade and economic agreements being negotiated by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and India, holds good for India and Swiss.
  • Climate Policy - Unpredictable monsoon rains and the melting of glaciers (in the Himalayas and the Alps) are issues of common concern.
  • This holds scope for cooperation in the areas of climate change, sustainable development, water management and energy.
  • Energy - India and Switzerland share common priorities in boosting the share of renewables in their energy mix.
  • A number of joint projects are already under way in energy efficiency and renewable energies and holds further potential as well.
  • One of them is CapaCITIES, where Switzerland is helping municipal authorities in India to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Infrastructure - The world’s longest railway tunnel, the Gotthard base tunnel, was recently opened in Switzerland.
  • Switzerland's experience in this major rail infrastructure project can best be used by India for its public transport vision.
  • Tourism, vocational education and training, digitalisation are also expected to be on the agenda.

 

Source: Indian Express


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