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President invites Swiss firms to join India initiatives

New Delhi, Sep 1  President Ram Nath Kovind on has invited Swiss technology companies to participate in various initiatives of the Indian government and pursue closer business partnerships in priority sectors like precision and high-tech manufacturing.

Kovind’s suggestion came after he received visiting Swiss President Doris Leuthard at Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Thursday and subsequently hosted a banquet in her honour.

Leuthard arrived here on Wednesday on a four-day official visit to India.

President Kovind said India was keen to build synergies with Switzerland in all of these endeavours, while working within the framework of a rules-based multilateral system.

“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 precision and high-technology manufacturing, infrastructure, skill development, renewable energy and clean-tech research,” Kovind said in his banquet speech.

“The Swiss technology companies should also to take part in initiatives like ‘Make in India’, ‘Start-Up India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, and ‘Skill India’.”

The Indian President said there was scope for creating partnerships between research and development labs and institutions of the two countries.

Pointing out that India was a fast growing economy and creating a market throught Goods and Services Tax (GST), Kovind invited the Swiss companies to take advantage of it.

“Switzerland is an important trade and investment partner for India. India is a preferred destination for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) as it is the world’s fastest growing large economy. 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,” Kovind said.

Kovind said India was committed to “multilateralism like Switzerland”.

“Yet, the multilateral order needs to undergo multiple transformations; namely — reform and restructuring of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions; tackling urgent challenges of international terrorism and radicalism, as well as of financial and cyber crimes and of Internet governance; and meeting pressing concerns of climate change and attaining the sustainable development goals,” he said.

Citing Switzerland as one of the oldest democracies and India as the largest democracy in the world, Kovind recalled signing of a treaty of friendship between the two nations in New Delhi in August 1948.

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