Swiss Indian Bilateral Trade
India is a priority country of the Swiss foreign economic policy. It is currently the fastest growing emerging economy worldwide and offers a plethora of business opportunities for Swiss companies.
Switzerland’s investment flows in India amounted to USD 9.80 billion between 2000 and 2023 (rank #12) according to the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicates that Swiss investments stocks in India amounted to USD 35 billion in 2021 (rank #7). Over 330 Swiss companies have invested in India, with a presence in various sectors such as MEM (machinery, electrical and metal), pharmaceutical, finance, construction, sustainable technologies and cleantech industry, as well as ICT services. According to the estimations of the Swiss National Bank, Swiss companies have created approximately 166’000 direct well-paid jobs in the country.
Nearly 140 Indian companies have invested in 180 entities in Switzerland, employing 5’000 persons. These companies are mostly present in the Zurich area and mainly active in the sectors of technology (32%) and life sciences (21%). According to the IMF, Switzerland is the 8th largest recipient of Indian FDIs stocks, amounting to USD 3.7 billion.
The bilateral trade in goods between India and Switzerland has been growing steadily over the last years, especially in favor of India (excluding gold and precious metals). In 2022, exports to India amounted to CHF 1.8 billion, while imports reached 2.5 billion, displaying a 26% increase form 2021. The services sector grew of 9.5% since 2014, making India Switzerland’s 16th partner globally. Bilateral exchanges amounted to a total of CHF 3.9 billion in 2022. The tourism sector is historically strong between Switzerland and India and figures show clear signs of post-Covid recovery.
Several well-established intergovernmental dialogues exist between the two countries. The Joint Economic Commission meets regularly to discuss economic issues of mutual interest in presence of business representatives. In addition, dialogues on financial matters, intellectual property rights, rail transport and infrastructure financing are also open.
India and the EFTA States (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) are negotiating a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with the clear aim of unfolding the trade potential between the parties. While India is the biggest consumer market worldwide and a growing economy, EFTA States are leaders in innovation and major foreign investors. A comprehensive trade deal will mutually benefit complementary economies.
In December 2017, Switzerland and India signed a mutual agreement related to the introduction of the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in tax matters, on a reciprocal basis. It is implemented since January 2018, with a first exchange of data taking in autumn 2019. The signing of the Mutual Agreement with India confirms Switzerland's international commitment to implementing the AEOI standard, and that it is moving forward to strengthen its network of AEOI partner states.