Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann in Geneva to deepen bilateral ties. Among other issues, PM Modi raised the black money issue with the Swiss President.
“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,” said the MEA quoting the Prime Minister on twitter.
In the post-meeting briefing, the Prime Minister said that “combating the menace of black money and tax evasion” was the shared responsibility of India and Switzerland.
Agreeing to expand cooperation in tackling the problem of Indians stashing black money in Swiss banks was one of the key focus areas of the talks between the two leaders besides stepping up ties in areas of trade, investment and vocational training.
The issue of India’s membership in the Nuclear Supplier’s Group also figured in the talks.
“I am thankful to the President for Switzerland’s understanding & support for India’s membership of the NSG,” said the MEA quoting the Prime Minister.
India has been pushing for membership of the bloc for last few years and had formally moved its application on May 12. The grouping will take up India’s application in its plenary meetings on June 9 in Vienna and June 24 in Seoul.
Switzerland is a key member of the NSG and its support to India’s bid for membership of the elite grouping becomes crucial in the backdrop of China harping on the need for consensus as India was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“We have promised India support in its efforts to become a member of NSG,” confirmed Schneider-Ammann at a joint media interaction.
The NSG looks after critical issues relating to the nuclear sector and its membership will help India expand its atomic energy sector.
PM Modi said India and Switzerland also shared a commitment to reform international institutions in line with current global realities.
“India and Switzerland have both been the voices of peace, understanding and humanitarian values in the world. In last seven decades, our friendship has consistently seen an upward trajectory. Today, President and I reviewed our multifaceted bilateral ties. We also held detailed discussions with Swiss CEOs,” said PM Narendra Modi.
PM Modi arrived in Geneva late last night from the Qatari capital Doha on the third leg of his five-nation tour.
Ahead of his five-nation tour, Prime Minister Modi had described Switzerland as India’s key partner in Europe.
PM Modi began his five-nation visit in Afghanistan. From Geneva, PM Modi will travel to the US and then to Mexico before returning home.
(With inputs from PTI)