Swiss exports to India lost a further 25 percent in the first half of 2014, need for robust Indian economy, stable rupee of great interest to Swiss investors, said Swiss ambassador Dr Linus von Castelmur.
“After having decreased 10 percent in 2012 and 24 percent in 2013, Swiss exports to India lost a further 25 percent in the first half of 2014. This is a considerable setback…. A thriving Indian economy with robust growth and a strong and stable rupee is therefore very much in the interest of Swiss exporters and investors into India,” said Dr Linus von Castelmur, Ambassador of Switzerland to India while addressing the ASSOCHAM seminar on “Switzerland – the Business Gateway to Europe” held in New Delhi recently.
He further said, this expectation as well as trust that positive change will happen has already partly been factored into a rising Sensex and an appreciating rupee. “I am sure that this is observed with a certain relief by Swiss exporters who have had a rather rough time in the last two to three years considering the double whammy of a strong Swiss franc and a weak Indian rupee,” added Dr Linus von.
“The clear result of this year’s elections is an unmistakable verdict for a strong and stable government capable of implementing framework conditions to unleash India’s huge potential; and to take the country back on a growth path it needs and deserves. Particularly in the business world there a clear expectation that the new government will support and not hamper the unique entrepreneurial spirit of Indian business men and women”, said Ambassador of Switzerland to India.
In my so far two and a half year tenure here in India, I have often expressed my hope for an early conclusion of the much awaited broad-based Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement that India and Switzerland together with the other EFTA states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have been negotiating for the last seven years in order to give an additional impetus to our exports and to further boost Indian exports Switzerland, said Ambassador of Switzerland to India.
“Unfortunately and despite the determination on both sides to conclude before the elections, this did not materialize. I can assure you that progress was made and the gap could be narrowed substantially in various areas, but it proved too optimistic to cross finishing line already. It will be important to resume the negotiations as quickly as possible now that the new Indian government has taken over with the principle that what was agreed is agreed”, added H.E. Dr Linus von Castelmur.
He said, there are promising signs that the Indian authorities under the new leadership are interested in a continued dialogue with Switzerland in several fields. Both the Joint Economic Commission and the Financial Dialogue are scheduled to take place in Berne this October and November respectively and the Political Dialogue is also foreseen for November in New Delhi. “I am confident that the intensification of interaction between our two governments and authorities will soon spur our economic relations and translate into more trade and investment on both sides”, said Ambassador of Switzerland.
S C Aggarwal, Chairman, India-EU Business Promotion Council said, the main items of Indian exports to Switzerland are textiles and garments, organic chemicals, precious stones and jewellery, dyestuffs, machinery and parts, leather products, shoes and shoe uppers, cotton, plastics, coffee, tea and hand-knotted carpets. Swiss exports to India consist of machinery and equipment, precision instruments, pharmaceutical products dyes and chemicals, fertilizers, watches etc.
Rinki Dhingra, Sr. President, YES Bank Ltd. said, India’s bilateral relations with Switzerland have diversified and strengthened. Also after opening of the Indian economy, trade and economic relations have gradually gained in importance and have grown significantly over the past 10 years, so much so that Switzerland today ranks among top five European investment destinations for Indian investors.