Geneva (Switzerland): Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached Geneva late last night on the third leg of his five-nation tour, on Monday issued a joint press statement with Switzerland President Johann Schneider-Ammann here.
Beginning the press statement, PM Modi said, "I feel the weight of history in this truly international city. This is a city with a humanitarian soul. After all, it is the home of Red Cross."
On economic links between India and Switzerland
PM Modi, who addressed a gathering of heads of companies like ABB, Lafarge, Novartis, and Nestle, said, "Within my country I need to create 2 or 3 Switzerland. So the scope for partnership is immense. We want to have manufacturing of global standards. Hence Swiss model of skill development very relevant for us."
"The economic links between our two countries are strong and vibrant. India and Switzerland have both been the voices of peace, understanding and humanitarian values in the world. We see a perfect connect between our development needs and Swiss strengths," PM Modi said.
"Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann and I have agreed to build on the Swiss Vocational and Educational Training system suited to India's needs. Want Indian economy to be driven by smart and sustainable cities, robust farm sector, vibrant manufacturing and a dynamic service sector," Modi added.
"ABB, Lafarge, Novartis, Nestle, Rieter, Roche... A who`s who of Swiss business at Round Table with Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Vikas Swarup, the spokesman of the ministry of external affairs tweeted.
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) June 6, 2016
PM Modi woos investors in Geneva
Inviting a galaxy of Swiss business leaders to invest in India, PM Modi said, "I invite Swiss companies to be a key partner in India's economic growth. We are keen to welcome a large number of Swiss visitors to India, and have opened the facility of e-tourist visa for this."
On NSG membership
PM Modi, who sought Switzerland's support for India's membership of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as it is a key member of the elite grouping, also thanked Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann for their 'understanding and support' for India's bid.
During the joint address, Swiss President Schneider-Ammann too announced his country's support to India's membership in the 48-member grouping as he said, "We have promised India support in its efforts to become a member of NSG."
On Black Money
Raising the issue of black money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks, PM Modi said, "We discussed the need for an early and expeditious exchange of information to bring to justice the tax offenders. Early start to negotiations on the agreement on automatic exchange of information would be important in this respect."
PM Modi mentions Bollywood, Sania Mirza & Leander Paes
PM Modi highlighted successful Indo-Swiss collaborations using the example of tennis stars Sania Mirza and Leander Paes, as he asserted, "Thanks to the Indian film industry, we are very familiar with the enchanting Swiss landscape. The successful Indo-Swiss collaborations include Martina Hingis partnering with our Sania Mirza and Leander Paes."
Switzerland is the third stop on PM Narendra Modi's five-nation tour, who arrived in Geneva earlier today after a successful visit to Doha. Ahead of his five-nation tour, Modi had described Switzerland as India’s key partner in Europe.
The hopes on the outcome of bilateral discussions are high as an Indian Prime Minister is visiting Switzerland for the first time on a state visit almost after five decades.