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Introductory Remarks by Amb Sibi George at the India - Switzerland Business Roundtable on Sept 13

Posted on: September 13, 2019 | Back | Print

Introductory Remarks by Ambassador Sibi George at Business Round Table in Berne, Sept 13, 2019

Honorable Rashtrapatiji, Honorable President of Switzerland, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Good Evening and Welcome,

In August 2017, during the State Visit of Swiss President to India over thirty senior Swiss business persons accompanied Her Excellency to New Delhi. They attended various governmental and B to B meetings in Delhi. They shared their experiences and exchanged their views on promoting our trade and investment relations. They also addressed some of the challenges in deepening our business engagement.  Today after over two years, a group of over thirty five senior Indian businessmen accompanies Hon’ble President of India on this return State visit.  This is is an important occasion to review the progress in our business relations during the last few years come up with suggestions and ideas to enhance our business.

In my interactions today with the representatives of Swiss and Indian business persons present here, I heard several success stories of cooperation and collaboration. During the last twenty months, as Ambassador of India to Switzerland, I am witness to the steady progress in our trade and investment relations. Switzerland continues to be the largest trading partner for India in the entire Europe, more than Germany or France or UK. Our bilateral trade today is over USD 19 billion.

Today, more and more Swiss companies are looking at India as natural partners in business, in science and technology and in innovation. On a regular basis new joint ventures or collaborations are being worked out between Indian and Swiss companies. Most business here are appreciative of the economic transformation of India and the growing ‘ease of doing business’ there.

We still hear some comments of bureaucratic delays in clearance and lack of adequate infrastructure, but I recall that no one has ever complained that they were not making profit in India or that they were not growing in India. Most of the investors and business firms engaging with India have a success story to share, a story of growth and progress, often stories of double digit growth. All agree that India is transforming.

With those words, I welcome Honorable Rashtrapatiji and Honorable President of Switzerland to this business round table and I invite the leader of Indian business delegation to introduce his team and make his presentation.

Thank you.