Modi to Switzerland from Qatar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left Qatar for Switzerland on the third leg of his five-nation tour that will also take him to the US and Mexico.
“Ma’a Salama Qatar! After a productive visit, PM Narendra Modi departs for Geneva, the third leg of his journey,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Switzerland is India’s fifth largest trade partner and 11th largest investor.
Modi will hold talks with President of the Swiss Confederation Johann Schneider-Amman on Monday during which the issues of black money and India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) are likely to figure.
In a pre-departure media briefing in New Delhi, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said Switzerland was an important member of the NSG and he definitely expected the issue of India’s membership to come up during the discussions.
India has already formally applied for membership of the group.
On the black money issue, Jaishankar said India has already been in touch with the Swiss government under the double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) mandate and added that India hoped “to engage as early as possible in the automatic exchange of information with Switzerland”.
Monday’s discussions may also veer around renewable energy and vocational education, sectors Switzerland is strong in.
Earlier on Sunday, India and Qatar signed seven agreements following delegation level talks headed by Prime Minister Modi and Qatar Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.
Modi also met a group of Qatari business leaders and invited them to invest in India.
Prior to his departure, he addressed a reception of the Indian community here.
Modi had arrived in Qatar on Saturday from Afghanistan.