NEW DELHI: The President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard arrived on Thursday for her three-day visit, to strengthen bilateral, global and regional issues of mutual interest.
She was accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan where she was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind.
"We will boost Indo-Swiss ties since we have a friendship of 70 years", she told ANI.
She also said that she is pleased with PM Narendra Modi's reforms, she hopes to give a new impetus to the pending negotiations and partnership agreement. She said India and Switzerland will try having new investment protection agreement.
Leuthard's visit to India assumes much significance as India is seeking its entry into the 48-member elite nuclear club, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), of which Switzerland is the chair.
Accompanied by a large business delegation, Leuthard will hold talks with her Indian counterpart, President Ram Nath Kovind, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
“Both countries share common views on many major global issues. The visit will provide an opportunity to both sides for holding wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, global and regional issues of mutual interest,” stated a press release, ahead of the visit.
In addition to the Presidential and the ministerial visits, the two countries hold yearly political and thematic consultations and dialogues.
Further, she said that both countries will sign trade agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on railway infrastructure.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Switzerland in June 2016, wherein tax evasion and black money menace were discussed.
Switzerland and India have regularly been conducting political dialogues since 2005. Since 2012, the two countries have also been involved in a dialogue on migration and consular matters.
The two nations have signed numerous bilateral agreements in several sectors including trade, development cooperation, vocational education and training, visas, migrations, air traffic, investments, finance, taxation, disaster management, and cooperation in science and technology.
In 2018, Switzerland and India will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Swiss-Indian Treaty of Friendship signed on August 14, 1948. This was the first of such treaties signed by independent India and an important milestone in the Indo-Swiss relations.