On the first of August every year, the Swiss people come together to celebrate their National Day, a special occasion that celebrates the founding of the Swiss Confederation in the year 1291 AD. The historic alliance was formed by three cantons: Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden and has served as the bedrock for Switzerland's rich cultural heritage and political stability similar to unification of 550+ princely states into India.
The roots of the cordial relations between India and Switzerland can be traced back to 1948 when they signed the Treaty of Friendship in New Delhi. Since then, the two countries have fostered a deep sense of amity, leading to the signing of numerous bilateral agreements across a wide range of areas such as trade cooperation, education, investment, finance, taxation, and scientific and technological cooperation to name a few. The year 2023 marks a significant milestone, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the India-Switzerland Friendship Treaty, along with the 75 years of Indian independence.
Switzerland has emerged as one of India's principal partners in Europe, with significant foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing between the two countries. Switzerland's FDI in India amounted to $9.8 Bn, among the top 5 countries in Europe. The top sectors which have received maximum FDI from Switzerland are automobiles, services sector, rubber goods, chemicals and trading (Boolean), in that order. Sectors such as food processing, computer software and hardware and air transport have shown tremendous rise in investments over the past few years, and these provide Swiss companies an opportunity to enter India.
Furthermore, the bilateral trade in goods showcases a robust exchange, with Indian exports amounting to $1.3 Bn, comprising mainly of organic chemicals, precious and semi-precious stones, nuclear reactors, and aircraft, while the Swiss exports to India reached $15.8 Bn, including precious stones, mineral fuels, mineral oils, nuclear reactors, and pharmaceutical products. The Embassy of India in Berne launched Momentum in India: Swiss SMEs Programme (MISSP) as a dedicated platform that acts as a special mechanism to enhance inbound trade & investments from mid-market Swiss companies India.
India is home to more than 323 Swiss companies, which is a testament of the trust of Swiss business in India. The mantra given by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, “Make in India, Make for the World” is a guiding light for all the companies whether big or small to come to India and serve the world. With the establishment of Startup Bridge between the two countries, the thriving and innovative ecosystem of Switzerland can access the Indian market and offer their services and products.
The flourishing trade and ever-growing investment relations complemented by healthy diplomacy between the two countries has taken the bilateral relations to another level. The two countries have much to gain from their continued collaboration, and the shared journey they have embarked upon is poised to unlock new opportunities and pave the way for a brighter future. With the identification of sunrise sectors by the Government of India such as green energy, dairy, technical textiles, recycle (Waste-to-wealth), etc. Swiss SMEs and startups have a chance to grow their business and cater to the Indian market, with an opportunity and a window to cater other Asian and global markets.
In the end, we would like to Congratulate Switzerland on its National Day! On this special occasion, we join you in celebrating the founding of the Swiss Confederation and the rich cultural heritage and political stability that have made Switzerland a shining example of unity and progress
This blog has been co-authored by Divyam Singh.