Photo Gallery - Visit of Swiss President Mrs. Doris Leuthard to India
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Mrs Doris Leuthard, Swiss President, paid a highly successful State visit to India, with a 21 Gun Salute.

The Swiss economy, at Number 1 rank in international competitiveness and innovation, and with a very high R&D intensity, complements the Indian economy. We are looking to spread the first class Swiss vocational education system in India which will transform employment prospects for young Indians.

Switzerland is the only country in the world which recognizes Ayurved among traditional medicines in its Constitution. Per capita Switzerland is one of the highest investors in India and that too in the most valuable, core, high-technology sectors of the Indian economy.

Switzerland in fact collaborated in the early decades of the establishment of our relations in 1948, whose 70th Anniversary will be celebrated this year, in setting up India’s first aeronautical vocational education institute in Nellore, its Integrated Coach factory in 1951, and also in its space program.

But Switzerland’s strengths were not fully appreciated in India after sometime. The image was of a beautiful tourism destination, chocolates, cheese and banks.

Following Prime Minister's visit last year to Switzerland, cooperation in the eradication of black money strengthened and many other initiatives received a tremendous momentum. Switzerland accepted India's membership of the NSG and talks on the free trade agreement also were resumed. An MOU on vocational education and training was signed which imparted momentum to the Embassy's efforts to increase cooperation in this area. Prime Minister also enjoined upon us to strengthen cooperation in Ayurved, and it was discovered that Switzerland recognizes Ayurved in its Constitution. In fact the drug Serpicil is based on Sarpagandha from India. This has also rejuvenated cooperation in this area.

In recognition of these strengths the Swiss President got a very warm reception in India. She met the President and Vice President of India and External Affairs Minister also called on her.

She also led a top-level business delegation which was unprecedented in its level of representation and composition from the distinguished Chairman of ABB, one of the largest investors in India to the founders of Stadler and Molinari Rail. Prime Minister had a very productive and fruitful interaction with the Swiss President and the business delegation. Extensive discussions were held in areas of mutual interest.

The President hosted a banquet dinner which was characterized by genuine warmth.

The delegation also enthusiastically participated in the high-level discussions with Shri Suresh Prabhu, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and Shri Piyush Goyal. The delegation thoroughly enjoyed their interactions with the Ministers.

The Swiss President was warmly received and seen off by Shri Mansukhiya Mandaviya, MOS, also known as the bike MP who cycles to office and has formed a Climate Club in Parliament to inspire other MPs. As MOS for Transport amongst other fields he's dedicated to create a bike economy and to contribute to environmental sustainability.

It was agreed to increase cooperation in investment, vocational education and scientific endeavour. Two MOUs in Railways were signed which will lead to increased joint research.

A Joint Statement was issued at the end of the visit which is a first in the Swiss relations.

It has been an exciting two years and a solid basis for bilateral corporation has been laid down.

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