The Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey, will meet with her Indian counterpart, Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna, on Monday, 30 August, in New Delhi. Meetings will also take place with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, and with Minister for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan.
The themes on the agenda deal with Swiss-Indian bilateral relations, in particular the revision of the double taxation agreement and the planned opening of a Consulate-General in Bangalore, which is to include an office for the promotion of cooperation in science and research (Swissnex). Other themes will concern issues of environment, migration, and economic policy.
In the regional and international domains, among other items, discussions will address the humanitarian flood disaster in South Asia, as well as cooperation within the scope of the UN (environmental policy, institutional reform).
India is one of Switzerland’s main partners in Asia. Relations have been strengthened since 1991, and a political dialogue has been introduced. Active cooperation unfolds for instance in the domain of the environment. Today, India is Switzerland’s fourth most important trade partner on the Asian continent. With an economic growth rate of over 8%, India is gaining in importance. Among importing countries, Switzerland ranks seventh. More than 150 branch offices and joint ventures with Swiss enterprises make Switzerland the 11th largest investor in India.
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