President Schneider-Ammann meets Indian Prime Minister Modi

Press release, 06.06.2016

President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Geneva for an official meeting on Monday, 6 June. Top of the agenda in view of the negotiations on a free trade agreement between the EFTA member states and India were economic and trade issues, and cooperation between Switzerland and India in international forums and on education, research and innovation. After the meeting, a round table with Swiss business leaders was held.

President Schneider-Ammann reiterated Switzerland’s wish to intensify efforts towards a free trade agreement between the EFTA states and India. State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) will travel to India this week in this connection. It is hoped that this will mark a further step towards resuming negotiations, President Schneider-Ammann explained. India is Switzerland’s third largest trading partner in Asia.

In addition to economic exchanges, progress has also been made in the education, research and innovation sectors in recent years, as was stressed during the talks. The two countries share a strong interest in vocational education and training.

Furthermore, Swiss and Indian institutions are working together on a research programme with the aim of establishing a joint culture of research. There is great potential in climate research, cleantech, air pollution control, sustainable urban development and renewable energies.

The delegations also discussed financial policy matters. Switzerland and India stressed their shared resolve to take action against tax fraud and tax avoidance and underlined the high quality of their cooperation in this area.

Switzerland was represented at the meeting not only by State Secretary Ineichen-Fleisch (SECO), but also by Yves Rossier, State Secretary at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). Following talks between the delegations, President Schneider-Ammann and Prime Minister Modi met leading figures from Swiss business for a round table discussion. 

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