Sushma reviews bilateral issues with Swiss counterpart
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Sushma reviews bilateral issues with Swiss counterpart

New Delhi, Aug 10: India and Switzerland on Friday reviewed entire spectrum of bilateral relationship, including issues ranging from trade and investment to financial and tax matters.

These issues figured prominently at the talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis here. "EAM Sushma Swaraj and Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis reviewed the entire spectrum of our relationship at the delegation-level talks. Discussion on trade & investment, financial and tax matters, vocational education & training, tourism, tradition medicine and consular matters," said a tweet from MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar.

In another tweet, he wrote: "Natural partnership between the world's largest democracy and one of the world's oldest democracy. EAM Sushma Swaraj welcomes Foreign Minister of Swiss Federation Ignazio Cassis in New Delhi". In 2016, the two countries signed a joint declaration that will ensure that financial information on bank accounts held by Indians in Switzerland and vice versa will be shared annually. The first exchanges will begin in 2019.

“Mr Cassis will seize the opportunity to explain that Switzerland's financial centre is beyond reproach and that undeclared assets will not be tolerated in Swiss accounts,” said a Swiss government official statement on Wednesday.

The visiting dignitary is also likely to call on Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and would visit Varanasi for an official function on Saturday, according to sources here.The visit marks 70 years of Friendship Treaty signed between India and Switzerland on August 14, 1948.

According to Article 1 of the Treaty of Friendship and Establishment, "There shall be perpetual peace and unalterable friendship between the Dominion of India and Switzerland". Switzerland is in favour of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as the investment protection framework could boost economic ties between the two sides.

The EFTA members include Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The negotiations between India and Switzerland and other members of EFTA began in 2008. (UNI)