Switzerland Vice President Simonetta Sommaruga on Monday called on Union Railway and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in the rail bhawan in New Delhi to discuss ways to boost cooperation between the two nations and to modernise railways.
“The Indian government would like to strengthen the country’s railways and is interested in closer cooperation with Switzerland. A body has been set up to deepen this cooperation at a technical level,” the Swiss Embassy said in a statement.
- The Indian government aims to strengthen the railways and is interested in obtaining innovative technologies, high-quality rolling stock and expertise, in order to electrify railway lines, modernise train stations and optimise operations and timetables, it said.
- It said,”Switzerland and India therefore intend to cooperate more closely in future.”
- Mr. Goyal also took to Twitter and wrote, “Met the Vice President of Switzerland, S Sommaruga and discussed ways to boost cooperation between the two nations, aimed at obtaining cutting-edge technology and expertise for further modernisation of Railways.”
- Later at the Swiss Embassy, Sommaruga inaugurated the Railtech Networking Forum organised by the Swiss Embassy.
- Speaking on the occasion, the Swiss leader recalled her journey to south India and travelling in Nilgiri train.
- Hailing the Indian government for its vision, she said, “I am deeply impressed and delighted as Indian government has set aside funds for development and encouraged participation of both Indian and foreign players.”
- She pointed out that Swiss companies were ready to contribute as they have reliable and efficient solutions in different areas such as electrification and traction, rolling stock, engineering, signaling and train control as well as maintenance systems.
- “Our companies are pleased to explore collaborative opportunities. Today, more than 300 Swiss companies operate subsidiaries and joint ventures in India. They have created close to 1,00,000 jobs over the last two decades. It highlights the significance the Indian market bears for Swiss entrepreneurs.”
- She also said that on academic level, Switzerland has two important collaborations in India.
- She said,”My ministry (transport) has an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the Indian railways to enable technical cooperation. And one of our federal institutes of technology (ETH Zurich) has a collaboration with Konkan Railways.”
- On the other side, Switzerland is one of the preferred gateways’ to the European market for close to 150 Indian companies, she added.