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New Delhi : President of India Ram Nath Kovind on August 31, 2017, Ms Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation, at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also hosted a banquet in her honour. Welcoming the Swiss President, President Kovind said that Switzerland and India are natural partners. Switzerland is one of the oldest democracies and India is the largest democracy. A Treaty of Friendship between India and Switzerland signed in New Delhi in August 1948 was one of the first treaties to be signed by independent India.
President Kovind said that Switzerland is an important trade and investment partner for India. India is a preferred destination for FDI as it is the world’s fastest growing large economy. He stated that India has made great progress on the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and in creating a unified market through GST and other measures. Swiss companies are ideally positioned to take advantage. He invited Swiss technology companies to take part in initiatives like Make in India, Start-Up India, Swachh Bharat and Skill India, according to a PIB release. Switzerland is India’s seventh largest trading partner and 11th largest foreign investor.

Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Kovind said that the visit of the Swiss President assumes special significance as this year marks a milestone in bilateral relations. India and Switzerland enter the 70th year of the Friendship and Establishment Treaty. The President said that India and Switzerland can grow and diversify their trade, investment and technological exchanges. The two countries need to pursue even closer business partnerships in priority sectors such as high technology manufacturing, infrastructure, skill development, renewable energy and clean-tech research, according to the PIB release.

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