Thanks to Switzerland’s backing, India got its first fillip for its effort to be a member of the exclusive Nuclear Suppliers Group
Shreerupa Mitra-Jha | June 6, 2016
India got support from Switzerland as it mounted a bid to enter the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the move coming on a day when Indian prime minister Narendra Modi was in Geneva where he called the issue of tax evasion and black money a “shared priority” for the Indians and the Swiss.
“Switzerland welcomes an Indian contribution to the non-proliferation of nuclear arms,” said the president of the Swiss Confederation, Johann Schneider-Ammann.
“We promised India support in its efforts to become a member of this group, the NSG. The process has started and we will certainly contribute actively,” he added.
However, the Swiss president in an exclusive press meet later parried a question on whether Switzerland would insist on India signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) before gaining entry into the nuclear suppliers' club. Switzerland hopes all countries sign the NPT, he said in German.
Modi also said that Switzerland and India will support each other’s bid for non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council.
Modi, meanwhile, called the issue of tax evasion and black money a “shared priority” for the Indians and the Swiss.
“India and Switzerland have been fighting against tax fraud and tax evasion,” Ammann said.
“We discussed the need for an early and expeditious exchange of information to bring to justice the tax offenders. An early start to negotiations on the Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Information would be important in this respect,” Modi said.
The other big item on the agenda was the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states—Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland—and India that has been stuck since 2008.
“India has affirmed it's readiness to resume FTA talks with EFTA,” Modi said.
The Swiss president confirmed that towards the end of this week it will send a high-level delegation led by Marie‐Gabrielle Ineichen‐Fleisch, head of the world trade division at the state secretariat for economic affairs (SECO) as the chief negotiator to re-launch discussions on a possible trade deal.
In 2015, exports to India increased by 6.6 percent compared to last year, while imports fell by around 10 percent. Switzerland is one of the 10 largest investors in India.
High levels of ambition on intellectual property by Swiss companies was one of the main sticking points for the EFTA trade deal with India. Ammann later said that the levels of ambition for Swiss companies are the same—these are issues that will be discussed by the negotiating team when in India.
Apart from the meeting between the governments that lasted for about an hour, the Indian prime minister also attended an economic round table with Swiss businessmen, that included representatives from the Swiss watch-making industry and Novartis.
Energy policies and “financial aspects” were also discussed by the governments. “Its (India’s) 500 million plus youth is skilled and ready to meet the global needs of manpower. President and I agreed to build on the Swiss Vocational and Educational Training system suited to India's needs,” Modi said.
The prime minister also met about 15 scientists from CERN of Indian origin.
An underground rapper who grew up on Mumbai streets, Divine spins his music around his environment and poverty. His breakout single, ‘Meri Gully Mein’, along with fellow rapper Naezy caught Bollywood’s attention. The Hindi film ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by their lives and gr
Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book publis
The question of reform of the civil services has been debated extensively at all levels at least over the last five to six decades after independence. Indeed, it was soon perceived that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) may not be well equipped to deal with the problems of an emerging developing coun
Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came into existence, based on a Resolution of the home ministry, dated April 1, 1963 – a sheer coincidence that it also happens to be April Fool’s day. Over the past few months, we have seen the CBI live up to its founding day with great zeal, being i
Gujarat was passing through a turbulent phase in the 1980s. The decade began middle class agitations against new reservation policies, and the caste friction turned communal under the watch of chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki, alienating majority of urban population on both counts. The ground was ripe for