Swiss Consulate-General to open in Bangalore
Switzerland will open a Consulate-General in Bangalore, which will include a department for the promotion of cooperation in the fields of higher education, research, technology, innovation and culture between the two countries.
This was announced after a series of high-level meetings Swiss Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey had during her day-long visit here with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh.
She also signed the protocol to the revision of the double taxation agreement (DTA) which will introduce new provisions concerning administrative assistance in accordance with OECD standards together with a comprehensive most-favoured-nation clause.
During her meeting with Krishna, Calmy-Rey expressed her wish for increased political dialogue and the intensification of cooperation between Switzerland and India with both the leaders recognising the fact that besides the economic potential offered by relations between the two countries, there were also areas of great common interest in the field of research, technology and the environment.
Bilateral issues in the areas of finance, technology and the environment in addition to regional and international matters were discussed by the visiting leader and Indian leadership.
Terming opening of a Consulate-General as "one signal" for a strengthening of relations, Calmy-Rey said it will contain a department, known as swissnex, heavily oriented towards research, technology and the environment as both Switzerland and India are thriving technology locations, according to a statement by Swiss authorities.
Together with science and trade, cooperation will also be strengthened in the area of the environment, the statement said, adding from January 1, 2011, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation will concentrate on joint projects related to the climate and energy.
Like other BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, India is a focal point of Swiss foreign economic strategy (2007) and its fourth most important trading partner in Asia and negotiations concerning a comprehensive trading and investment agreement are currently underway within the context of European Free Trade Association, it said.