New Delhi: The 11th round of India-Switzerland Foreign Office Consultations was held in New Delhi yesterday. The consultations were co-chaired by Secretary, West Sanjay Verma and State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Livia Leu.
During the consultations, both sides undertook a comprehensive review of bilateral relations. They referred to their long-standing dynamic partnership and agreed to make it future oriented. Both sides appreciated that the annual bilateral trade had exceeded 30 billion dollars and agreed on the importance of diversifying their trade. Over 330 Swiss companies are present in India in sectors such as engineering, services, precision instruments, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Indian companies are present in Switzerland in sectors such as IT, pharmaceuticals, and machinery.
The two sides took note of the progress made in the negotiations on India-Switzerland Bilateral Investment Treaty and India-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement. They agreed on the need for their early conclusion. Discussions were also held on enhancing cooperation in innovation, digitalization, tourism, skill development, science and technology as well as arts and culture.
The two sides also exchanged views on multilateral and regional issues including co-operation at the UN, upcoming G20 Presidency of India and the situation in Ukraine. Both sides also agreed to have regular consultations on UN and other multilateral issues.
Both sides agreed to further cultural and people to people relations and looked forward to commemorating 75 years of bilateral diplomatic relations next year in a befitting manner.
The two sides agreed to continue high-level exchanges and regular meetings of the institutional mechanisms such as Joint Economic Commission, Joint Working Groups on Railways and Environment and Financial Dialogue to keep up the momentum in bilateral relations.