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Remarks by Ambassador Sibi George, at the MISSP 2.0 (Momentum in India – Swiss SMEs Programme) Event in Bern, Nov 27, 2019

Posted on: November 27, 2019 | Back | Print

Remarks by Ambassador Sibi George, at the MISSP 2.0 (Momentum in India – Swiss SMEs Programme) Event in Bern, Nov 27, 2019

Your Excellency Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi, Excellencies, Business leaders, Friends of India, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Evening,

Let me begin my thanking Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi for joining us today at the Momentum in India – SMEs program 2.0. Ambassador Mouruzzi is the Head of International Cooperation at the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and also a Member of the Parliament of Canton on Neuchâtel, which is one of the most important cantons in Switzerland in terms of innovation particularly in the watch industry. Almost everyone who owned a Swiss watch, which most of us have, are directly or indirectly connected to Neuchâtel. Ambassador thank you for your presence. I also welcome our guests from India representing our public sector and the business leaders and friends who have joined us today.

Dear Friends,

India and Switzerland have excellent bilateral relations, covering political, economic, scientific and research fields and also in people to people exchanges. In September this year, President of India was in Switzerland on a five day State visit. This was the fourth summit level visits between India and Switzerland in three years. Prime Minister Modi was in Switzerland in 2016 and 2018, Swiss President was in India in 2017, Swiss Foreign Minister was in India in August 2018. In October, Vice President of Switzerland Madam Simonetta Sommaruga, who is also the Federal Councillor for Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, was in India leading a high level business delegation.

During the visit of President of India, both countries signed a Letter of Intent for establishment of India – Switzerland Alliance for Science and Innovation. I had the honour of signing the document with Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi. It was one of the highlights of the India Year of Science and Technology that the Embassy celebrates in Switzerland this year. 

Switzerland ranks among the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, quality of life, economic competitiveness, innovation index and human development, and even happiness index. In this success story of Switzerland, Small and medium-sized enterprises play a fundamental role. From Internet start-up to the high tech machine manufacturer, SMEs form the huge majority of enterprises. They represent more than 99% of companies and create two-thirds of the jobs in Switzerland. They make a major contribution to national creativity, growth and prosperity in Switzerland. In MISSP 2.0 our endeavor has been to engage more deeply with the SMEs in Switzerland and encourage them to collaborate with India and be partners in the economic transformation of India. The economic transformation of India, as the fastest growing large economy today, offers huge opportunity for several Swiss companies.

I am happy that we could meet today in the presence of senior officials from public sectors from India. They are partners in India’s economic transformation. In fact they are not just partners, they are the key movers and shakers in India’s economic transformation. Many business houses in Switzerland are aware of the Indian growth story. We are aiming to become a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2025. We are transforming our country and the way we do business. Our efforts are showing results. We have jumped 65 positions on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.

Today India is one of the countries with the largest Engineering Education base and the strongest R&D facilities in the world. Due to the encouragement that the youth of India are getting regarding innovation, India is ranked number 3 in terms of Unicorns after America and China. India is home to the third largest Start-up network in the world with over 21,000 enterprises. India’s 30 unicorns are valued at over 90 billion US dollars. There is tremendous potential for cooperation and collaboration and exchange of best practices.

We have a series of presentation by our experts lined up, focusing on Defence sector, AI, Robotics and Railways. I look forward to a fruitful interaction today.

I once again thank Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi for joining us today.

Thank you.