ANI Photo | MEA Secy visits Liechtenstein, Switzerland to enhance cooperation, boost bilateral ties

In a diplomatic stride, Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), embarked on a crucial visit to Liechtenstein and Switzerland from December 7-8 which included exploring untapped avenues of cooperation in Liechtenstein and sustaining the momentum of bilateral exchanges through the FOC with Switzerland.
During his visit to Liechtenstein on December 7, the Secretary (West) met Ambassador Martin Frick, Director, Office of Foreign Affairs for bilateral discussions, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release.
mea secy visits liechtenstein switzerland to enhance cooperation boost bilateral ties – The News Mill
Both sides appreciated the completion of 30 years of diplomatic relations between India and Liechtenstein and agreed that there is scope to enhance overall ties. Sectors, including industrial innovation, digitalisation, medical science and R&D in niche technologies, were highlighted as potential areas of cooperation, the release also said.
Discussions were held on the India-EFTA Trade and Economic Partnership (TEPA), India’s G20 Presidency, and global and regional issues of mutual interest.
The Secretary (West) invited a business delegation from Liechtenstein to India. Secretary (West) also visited the industrial facility of Hilti Corporation, a world leader in construction solutions across value chains. Hilti employs around 2000 people in India, it added.
mea secy visits liechtenstein switzerland to enhance cooperation boost bilateral ties 1 – The News Mill
In Switzerland, Verma co-chaired the 12th round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) along with Alexandre Fasel, State Secretary at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Berne on December 8, 2023. The last round of FOC took place on August 2, 2022, in New Delhi.
During the FOC, both sides undertook a comprehensive review of their bilateral relations. The two sides acknowledged that bilateral relations have grown significantly and are dynamic. Discussions were held on political engagements, bilateral trade and investments, digitalisation, innovation, S&T, mobility and skill development.
mea secy visits liechtenstein switzerland to enhance cooperation boost bilateral ties 2 – The News Mill
Both sides appreciated the ongoing discussions on the India-EFTA TEPA and the investment treaty between India and Switzerland. Views were also exchanged on gender empowerment, India’s G20 presidency, and multilateral issues, including UNSC reforms and cooperation at the UN. Global and regional issues of mutual interest, including the Indo-Pacific, Ukraine and the situation in West Asia were also discussed. Both sides agreed to hold the next round of FOC in New Delhi on mutually convenient dates, according to MEA.
mea secy visits liechtenstein switzerland to enhance cooperation boost bilateral ties 3 – The News Mill
Verma also called on Guy Parmelin, Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) of Switzerland.
While the visit of the Secretary (West) to Liechtenstein provided an opportunity to explore new areas of cooperation, the FOC with Switzerland continued the momentum of bilateral exchanges.
India and Switzerland are celebrating 75 years of the India-Switzerland Friendship Treaty in 2023. There are more than 320 Swiss companies present in India and around 140 Indian companies are present in Switzerland. Bilateral trade stands at above USD 17 billion. Switzerland is the 12th largest investor in India, with an overall investment of approximately USD 10 billion, the release said.

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