International Affairs




I have great pleasure in welcoming you to India and in accepting the letter of credence accrediting you as the next Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Switzerland to India.

India and Switzerland have shared a warm and friendly relationship which has been marked by mutual understanding and cooperation. We recall with pleasure the visit to India of the then President H.E. Mr. Flavio Cotti in November 1998. The visit was a significant event in our bilateral relationship, being the first to India by a President of Switzerland. I am confident that the initiation of high level interaction and dialogue between our two countries would be strengthened further in the years to come, for the mutual benefit of our two countries.

Our two countries have shared a well-established economic and commercial relationship. These fruitful linkages date back to several decades, when your businessmen and entrepreneurs brought with them to India modern business techniques and sophisticated technology. Switzerland has been a stable trading partner for India. We are encouraged by the positive trend which has been evident in our commercial and economic interaction over recent years. There is, however, immense potential to even further augment and diversify trade and commerce between our two countries. We are aware of Switzerland's strengths in many crucial industrial areas and hope that your businessmen will tap the vast economic opportunities that India has to offer.

Excellency, India has pursued a programme of economic reforms de-regulation and liberalisation over the past decade and a half. Our annual rate of growth over the last decade has ranged between 5-7% with a growth rate of 5.8% recorded in 1998-1999, among the highest in the developing countries. There is broad national consensus in the country to continue the process of liberalisation as evident in the second phase of economic reforms. We look forward to a constructive partnership with Swiss companies in priority sectors of infrastructure development such as power and information technology.

We have always taken a keen interest in the successful functioning of Switzerland's well-established democratic structures and processes, which have enabled popular participation at the most basic level. During your stay in India, you will have the opportunity of observing how a nation such as ours, can maintain unity in the midst of diversity of linguistic and religious groups.

Excellency, India has been a victim of international terrorism for several decades. Terrorism is the very anti-thesis of democracy. The recent hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu by international terrorists, underlines the gravity of the menace of international terrorism. I would like to thank the Government of Switzerland for the support and assistance rendered towards an early resolution of this crime. Global terrorism and fundamentalism can and must be defeated through organised and collective action by the international community which must take cognizance of state responsibility in aiding, abetting and supporting terrorist activities across international borders. As a nation committed to democracy and peace, we hope that other friendly governments will join us in the efforts to combat this global scourge.

We share with Switzerland the commitment to the maintenance of peaceful co-existence among the nations of the world. We believe that sustained economic growth and social development can take place only in an environment of lasting peace and security. I am confident that our two countries can continue to work together on the basis of our shared values and beliefs.

Excellency, I wish you a successful tenure in India and assure you of the fullest cooperation of my Government in the performance of your duties.

Thank you

Jai Hind