President of the Swiss Confederation H.E. Doris Leuthard says it is the people from the two countries, who have knitted the fabric which holds India-Switzerland relations together
India-Switzerland bilateral relations continue to foster as the two nations have now been friends for a touch short of 70 years. Dating as long as two centuries, Indo-Swiss ties were formally stamped in the year 1948 when the ‘Indo-Swiss Bilateral Friendship Treaty’ was documented by the representatives of the two republics.
What makes the ties remarkable is that India is Switzerland’s largest trading partner in South Asia (3rd in Asia) while the Swiss investment in India is the 11th highest foreign investment at an estimation of $7.93 billion between 2005 and 2015.
Taking the friendship in stride, India hosted H.E. Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation from August 30, 2017 to September 1, 2017.
In her address, President Leuthard highlighting the dynamic bilateral relations between Switzerland and India, said, “Looking at our two countries, you will see thousands of people who over almost seven decades have knitted the fabric which holds together Swiss and Indian relations. We want to celebrate these seven decades with you.”
The Swiss president also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi where the two leaders had extensive talks on bilateral, regional and international issues, and also discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in combating tax evasion and black money.
She honoured Indian and Swiss personalities as “Friendship Ambassadors”. These Friendship Ambassadors have strengthened relations between the two countries and live the Swiss-Indian friendship on a daily basis.
Marking the seven decade celebrations, the Embassy of Switzerland to India officially launched the biennial initiative “70 Years of Swiss-Indian Friendship: Connecting Minds – Inspiring the Future”: a series of events to commemorate the Swiss-Indian Friendship Treaty signed on August 14, 1948, soon after India’s independence.
The honoured ‘Friendship Ambassadors’ were: Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, father of the Indian Green Revolution, Mr. Sushil K. Premchand, Chairman of the PRS Group, Mrs. Barbara Maim, CEO and co-founder of the Swiss startup Minsh, and Mr. Matias Echanove and Mr. Rahul Srivastava, co-founders of the URBZ platform in Mumbai and Geneva.
Congratulating the “Friendship Ambassadors”, Swiss Ambassador, H.E. Dr. Andreas Baum expressed, “Our friendship is built on common values: strong traditions of democracy and pluralism. Our friendship is also built on common interests. This is why our small innovative country in the centre of Europe is a perfect match for this booming, emerging superpower. And our friendship is built on passionate people: we are proud to honour some of them as true Friendship Ambassadors.”