India one of most important partners: Switzerland

Bern: Affirming its belief in the booming Indian economy, Switzerland today described India as one of its "most important partners" in Asia and said that its exports to the country have grown by 19 per cent this year despite difficult world economic climate.

"India has become integrated in the world market and has been growing strongly, with its GDP increasing at the mean annual rate of 5.8 per cent. It is now one of the world`s ten largest national economies," the Swiss government said in a statement.

The statement came after President Pratibha Patil and her Swiss counterpart Micheline Calmi-Rey addressed the Indo-Swiss Business Forum here in the Swiss capital.

"India is one of Switzerland`s most important partners in Asia and has tremendous potential for the future. Commodity trade is flourishing and the volume has exceeded the 3.5 billion Swiss Franc mark for the first time in 2010," it said.

Despite difficult world economic climate, Switzerland`s exports to India have grown by a good 19 per cent in the first eight months of 2011, while the imports have gone up by 17 per cent, the statement said.

In the field of services too, like tourism and IT sectors, India is becoming a more and more important partner, it said.

President Patil, in her address to the forum, said that despite global economic downturns, the Indian and Swiss economies have both demonstrated resilience.