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Speech at MISSP event in Zurich, May 17, 2018

Posted on: May 18, 2018 | Back | Print

Remarks by Ambassador at the ‘Momentum in India’, Swiss SMEs Programme Networking Event at Zurich

May 17, 2018

Good Afternoon everybody,

It is indeed a pleasure to welcome you all today to this afternoon to the ‘Momentum in India’ programme. I am happy to see the large participation today for the MISSP programme. The attendance today is reflective of the enthusiasm of companies in countries like Switzerland to explore the opportunities that India offers for deeper business engagement. 

Let me begin my recognizing our partners present here today. We have here with us our knowledge partner M/s EAC International Consulting and M/s Rodl & Partner which is our Legal and Tax Partner for MISSP. 
My colleagues in the Embassy and our Knowledge and Legal partners have put together a detailed programme covering several areas of interest for companies and business interested in engaging India. This programme today is one for the series of events that the Embassy proposes to organize in various cities in Switzerland in the next few months under MISSP programme.

I also acknowledge the presence here of our colleagues from Swiss - India Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is doing an excellent job in bringing together the businesses of India and Switzerland.

Today, India has emerged as the fastest-growing large economy in the world, with a growth rate of nearly 7.5%. It is also a global hub for manufacturing and innovation. It is moving towards a knowledge-based society, which aims to build a five trillion dollar economy by 2025. This will make India the 3rd largest consumer market in the world by 2025. According to the World Bank and IMF, our growth rate is going to be steady and high; India ranked 3rd in WEF’s list of most trusted governments in 2017. India has climbed 30 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index in 2017, the biggest jump by any country last year. 

India is strongly committed to improving the ease of doing business with India. India has taken several steps to introduce many far-reaching changes to build infrastructure, reform the business environment and promote education, skills and economic development. 

India is witnessing an economic transformation today. We have a leadership striving hard to develop an Indian economy driven by smart and sustainable cities, robust farm sector, vibrant manufacturing and dynamic service sector. And, its engines to run on world class network of rail, roads, airports and digital connectivity. 

We are happy that European businesses including Swiss business are looking towards India and are increasingly engaging India. At the same time, Indian business is becoming a significant investor in Europe and beyond. The government of India is fully committed and working towards supporting these trends at all levels, both Central Government and State Government levels.

The informal economy today has been addressed through demonetization, digital transactions, direct tax reforms, expansion of tax base and banking reforms. We have been disciplined about fiscal deficit and current account deficit. 

Over the last three years, we have resolved a number of regulatory and policy issues facing business, investors and companies. More than 90% of FDI approvals have been put on the automatic approval route. 
In India’s transformational journey, we regard Switzerland and Swiss companies as natural partners. 

At the political level, India maintains highest level of engagement with Switzerland. In the last two years, our Prime Minister had three summit level meetings with Presidents of Switzerland. President HE Schneider Ammann hosted him in Switzerland in July 2016, Swiss President Madam HE Doris Leuthard visited India on a State visit in August 2017 and current President HE Alain Berset received Prime Minister in Davos in January 2018. These milestone visits imparted fresh momentum to our deep-rooted and multi-faceted cooperation. 

Switzerland today is a household name in India. Thanks to the Bollywood which spent considerable time shooting in Switzerland. It has influenced Indian mind so much that when we see snow in films, many think of Switzerland. On the other hand, in Switzerland Yoga and Ayurveda have become household names. Yoga is celebrated in every village and town in Switzerland. 

There is vast scope to combine our relative advantages, in capital, technology, science and human resources, and to work for mutual benefit. Our engagement with Switzerland today is indeed multifaceted. India’s Flagship Programmes like Make in India, Smart Cities, Digital India, Swachh Bharat (Clean India), Startup India, Skill India and other initiatives are resonating well in this land of innovation and competitive edge. 

Our ties of collaboration in trade, investment, science and technology and skill development benefit both our societies. For Switzerland India is an opportunity and a huge market. For India Switzerland is an opportunity for technical cooperation and collaboration. You would recall the launching of a Swiss satellite by Indian Space Research Organisation in February last year. This was an example of the positive cooperation that our two countries can build on. With globalisation and digitalisation, the distance between India and Europe is shrinking, the opportunities for such cooperation have expanded manifold. 

I once again welcome you all to this Momentum in India, Swiss SMEs Programme today. 
I hope we will have a useful exchange of views.

Thank you.
May 17, 2018