Indian President Ram Nath Kovind to pay state visit to Switzerland

Bern, 06.09.2019 - Bilateral relations between Switzerland and India are close and have long been characterised by high mutual esteem. The state visit by President Ram Nath Kovind to Switzerland this year continues the series of regular contacts between the two countries. The Federal Council, led by President Ueli Maurer, will receive the head of state of the Republic of India in Bern with military honours on the afternoon of Friday, 13 September.

The official talks at the Bernerhof in the afternoon will be attended by President Maurer, Vice President Simonetta Sommaruga and Federal Councillors Guy Parmelin und Ignazio Cassis.  The main areas in which there is potential for strengthening bilateral cooperation include economic affairs and finance, as well as science, research and education. Discussions will include the envisaged free trade agreement that the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and India have been negotiating since 2008. Cooperation between Switzerland and India on energy and transport will also be addressed. Other items on the agenda include climate change, global security issues and human rights, the situation in Kashmir and India’s regional situation. 

Mr Maurer and Mr Kovind will attend a high-level Indo-Swiss economic forum in Bern. A state dinner will be held in the evening. The visit by President Kovind continues the series of regular contacts at the highest level, as this is the third state visit by an Indian head of state to Switzerland in the past fifteen years. In 2017, Doris Leuthard paid a presidential visit to India while holder of that office.

In 2018, Switzerland and India celebrated the 70th anniversary of their treaty of friendship. This treaty, concluded directly after Switzerland’s recognition of Indian independence in 1947, allowed the two countries to develop solid bilateral relations. Since 2005, Switzerland and India have maintained a regular political dialogue. India is Switzerland’s third largest trade partner in Asia and its most important trade partner in South Asia. The two countries also regularly exchange views within the framework of a joint economic commission that includes the private sector. In addition to political and economic exchanges, Switzerland and India also foster cooperation in the fields of science, education and culture.

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