The negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Switzerland will resume in February this year when the Swiss trade secretary will be on a visit to New Delhi. The FTA will be a great opportunity for Swiss investments in India to grow triple-fold.
Hopeful of an FTA to be signed in 2023, Switzerland’s ambassador to India Ralf Heckner told agency, “Both sides don’t want to see negotiations dragging on as in the past but a lot of things have changed. India’s position has changed. Switzerland is open for business when it comes to trade negotiations. So in 2023, I expect both sides to look into their negotiating positions and then assess whether wrapping up the negotiation is possible.”
The Swiss envoy said there is a great opportunity once the trade deal is sealed as Swiss investments in India can grow triple-fold.
“I will work on getting this done in 2023 but I’m not the only person to make the trade deal happen as I said the secretary will be in town beginning of February which shows the interest of Switzerland and the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) stated for wrapping up the negotiations,” Ralf Heckner added.
He further said, “With a trade deal we would be able to reach our potential, now what is the potential? Once you define the potential then, you will find the energy to wrap up negotiations. The potential is huge and I give you two examples: there are 330 Swiss companies physically located in India.”
The Swiss ambassador continued by saying, “There are 1000 enterprises in China, but we were able to conclude a trade agreement with China years ago involving intellectual property rights. We could actually triple the presence of swiss business in India with a free trade agreement.”
Speaking about the extent of investment opportunities in India, Heckner said, “If you have a look at our trade relationship with the US, we are the seventh biggest investor in the US. You are talking about USD 300 billion invested if you compare that with USD 10 billion with India, the sky is the limit, so that’s the potential.”
Last year, India has already concluded free trade agreements with UAE and Australia.
The President of the Swiss confederation will be visiting India this summer, the Swiss envoy informed ANI. The envoy also thanked India for inviting Switzerland to G-20 and lauded its efforts to bring peace to the current global environment.