From 3 to 4 October, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin will travel to Mumbai and Delhi to meet key national and Swiss economic players in India, and hold talks with his Indian counterpart, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. Discussions will focus on bilateral economic relations and negotiations on the EFTA-India Free Trade Agreement. A large economic and scientific delegation will accompany him on the visit, which will provide an opportunity to deepen bilateral economic relations and reaffirm Switzerland's commitment to economic and scientific cooperation with India.
In Delhi, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin will have the opportunity to encourage the continuation of negotiations on a free trade agreement and on a new investment protection agreement with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. In addition to a free trade agreement, negotiations on an investment protection agreement are also of particular importance to ensure a sound legal framework for Swiss businesses. At a round table discussion with Minister Piyush Goyal, Swiss companies will also set out the challenges and opportunities they face in India. Mr Parmelin, accompanied by the scientific delegation, will also meet Srivari Chandrasekhar, Secretary at the Department of Science and Technology. Together, they will open the meeting of the Swiss-Indian Joint Scientific Committee, which will, among other things, strengthen collaboration with India.
During his visit to Mumbai, Mr Parmelin and the economic delegation made up of representatives of Swiss companies will hold talks with major Indian and Swiss companies operating in India. They will also take part in a discussion on opportunities in the infrastructure sector.
With a population of 1.4 billion, recognised expertise in cutting-edge technologies and a high demand for infrastructure, the Indian market offers considerable potential for Swiss businesses and the scientific community. India is a market for business development, as well as a location for production and for the purchase of components. With bilateral trade of CHF 30.8 billion in 2021, India is Switzerland’s second largest economic partner in Asia after China. Switzerland is also an important investor in India. More than 300 Swiss companies operate in India investing CHF 5.9 billion as of the end of 2020.