September 01, 2017: A high-level CEOs’ delegation led by H.E. Mrs. Doris Leuthard, Hon’ble President of the Swiss Confederation, visited India on August 31 and September 01, 2017. During this visit, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), jointly with other chambers organized a Business Session with the Hon’ble President on September 01, 2017 at New Delhi.
Delivering the keynote address on the occasion, the Hon’ble President spoke about how the historical linkages between India and Switzerland could be leveraged to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries, and how attractive economic policy conditions are a prerequisite. She mentioned that Switzerland focuses on several areas, such as the labour market, entrepreneurial freedom, education and infrastructure and that India has adopted a similar strategy by focusing on raising awareness and on skills development while making sure that the appropriate infrastructure is available.
Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, then Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, spoke about the recent positive changes in India’s economic landscape, which have attracted a lot of attention from foreign investors who are keen to explore opportunities in India. Similarly, Indian companies are also showing greater keenness to explore markets abroad.
India and Switzerland share a vibrant commercial relationship. Many major Swiss companies already have a presence in India and this visit is expected to provide great fillip in taking this bilateral engagement to greater heights.
Mr. Ajit Gulabchand, Member, CII National Council, welcomed President Leuthard on behalf of CII and mentioned that India is one of the important investment destinations for Switzerland with about 250 Swiss joint ventures or subsidiaries operative in India in diverse fields such as engineering, industrial equipment, pharmaceutical, precision instruments, textiles etc. Switzerland is the 11th largest investor in India, with many Swiss companies like Nestle, Novartis, ABB becoming household names.
President Leuthard was accompanied by Ms. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, SECO, Switzerland, who was one of the panelists in the Panel Discussion on “Digital Transformation Leading the Way – Inspiring the Future”. Mr. Rajiv Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India; Mr. Daniel Küng, Member of the Executive Committee, Digital Switzerland and CEO, Switzerland Global Enterprise S-GE and Mr. Sapnesh Lalla, CEO, NIIT Ltd, were the other panelists in the discussion, which was moderated by Mr. Michael Enderle, Head, Swiss Business Hub India.
CII also signed a MoU with Economiesuisse, the Swiss Business Federation, which represents all sectors of the Swiss economy with 140 member organizations, 100,000 companies and 2 million jobs in Switzerland and another 2 million jobs abroad. Mr. Gulabchand and Mr. Heinz Karrer, President, Eocnomiesuisse exchanged the signed MoU on this occasion.