hold — vt — Modi thanks Switzerland for supporting India’s NSG membership

Geneva, June 6 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra India on Monday thanked Switzerland for its understanding and support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) following delegation level talks with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann.

“India and Switzerland also share a commitment to reform international institutions in line with current global realities,” Modi said at a joint press statement with Schneider-Amman after the talks.

“We have both agreed to support each other for our respective bids for the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council,” Modi said.

“I am also thankful to the President for Switzerland’s understanding and support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.”

On his part, Schneider-Ammann said that Switzerland was “interested” in India’s membership.

“Switzerland welcomes India’s contributions to nuclear non-proliferation,” he said.

“Switzerland is interested in India’s membership in NSG,” he added.

Switzerland is an important member of the NSG and its support is crucial for India’s membership in the 48-member group.

The issue of black money also figured in Modi’s bilateral talks.

“Combating the menace of ‘black money’ and tax evasion is also our shared priority,” Modi said.

“We discussed the need for an early and expeditious exchange of information to bring to justice the tax offenders,” he said.

“An early start to negotiations on the Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Information would be important in this respect.”

The Swiss strong suits of vocational education and renewable energy too figured in the talks.

Modi said India’s 500 million-plus youth were 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,” he said.

He also referred to the World Environment Day observed on Sunday and said that India would remain friendly to the planet and the environment.

“Reliance on renewable energy, rather than on fossil fuels would be our guiding motto,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister sought investments, saying that India becoming the fastest growing economy was not enough.

“I want the Indian economy to be driven by smart and sustainable cities, robust farm sector, vibrant manufacturing and dynamic service sector,” he said.

“And, its engines to run on world class network of rail, roads, airports and digital connectivity.”

Modi said there was a perfect connect between India’s development needs and Swiss strengths.

“I, therefore, invite the Swiss companies to avail of this great opportunity to be a key partner in India’s economic growth,” he said.

“Ultimately, the economic prosperity of 1.25 billion plus would also benefit the entire world,” he added.



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