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Leaders Speak

The huge reservoir of human intellect available in India presents a primary opportunity for India to expand the exports of invisibles to Switzerland, through conducting contract research, developing and selling intellectual property rights to Swiss businesses and providing quality offshore human resources to Switzerland. With India’s market opened progressively, trade has increased in both directions with the Swiss SMEs playing a major role in building both technological and component sourcing businesses. Pascal Couchepin, President of Switzerland, the crowning jewel of Europe and the world’s most beautiful tourist destination, is keen on further strengthening and expanding economic ties between the two countries. He is confident that Indo-Swiss economic ties, traditionally confined to the fields of engineering, pharmaceuticals, textiles, services, etc, will now embrace several new areas, including information and biotechnology. In an exclusive interview with Newmedia, Couchepin says,” India has been gradually opening up its economy for more than a decade now and in the previous years there have been many welcoming changes, such as further lowering of import duties, reduction in interest rates, pruning the small scale industries list, and further easing of restrictions on foreign direct investment etc. Such positive initiatives are helpful in improving the business environment, which in turn could lead to better inflow of foreign investments. Sectors like information technology are attracting Swiss investments and Biotechnology and Environment technology have been identified for investments.” Talking about the newly developed small and efficient film service industry that has developed in Switzerland he says,” I am very pleased with the fact that Switzerland remains a preferred destination for Indian filmmakers. By shooting films and songs in Switzerland, the Indian film industry certainly deserves a credit for increasing numbers of tourists from India visiting Switzerland every year.” Mr. Pascal concluded the interview by saying that he is ready to cooperate with India to help India achieve new heights and prosperity and foster their excellent relationship.

Mr.Pascal Couchepin, President of Switzerland

Innovation & Adaptation of latest technology is the key for success of small medium enterprise. S.M.E.have contributed tremendously towards sustainable economic growth globally

Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator

Innovation and adaptation to new technology is the key to success for SMEs. There can be great synergies between Australian and Indian SMEs.

H.E.Simon Crean, Minister for Trade In the Australian Federal Government

Reflecting upon historical and prospective aspects of the Indo-Swiss bilateral economic relations, Mr. Sushil Premchand, Past President of Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce ( SICC), says that the Indo-Swiss bilateral was one of the very first established by India post-independence. Over the years this relationship has been stable, with the commitment of major Swiss business to India being remarkable. India in turn has reinforced the relationship by always keeping its word, never blocking its payment of authorized payments and always permitting repatriation of investment funds where the rules have been followed. India still has to communicate better with the SME sector, which is critical to the Swiss economy – and represents the essential area for growth in investment into India, and a source of technology for India.

Mr. Sushil Premchand, Past President of Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce ( SICC)

“Training people to make a decent profit decently”- has been the mission of Harvard Business School. Talking about Harvard’s curriculum and courses on ethics and values, Warren Mcfarlan, Senior associate Dean, Harvard Business School, in an exclusive interview to Newmedia says,” We live in a world where entrepreneurship is absolutely critical to job formation and finally we accord the highest priority to ethics and values. Management and leadership serve society in very important ways. The “Fortune 500″ companies have not created as many new jobs as the new entrepreneurs have done in the last 30 years. Given the huge growth that comes from the entrepreneurs and innovations, we want to target the leaders and entrepreneurs to do what we can be proud of.”

Mr. Warren Mcfarlan, Senior associate Dean, Harvard Business School

Talking about the emerging business opportunities, Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia, Canada acknowledges SMEs as the backbone of B.C.’s economy and adds,” Though SMEs are small businesses, they play an important role in trade relationship. In fact, small businesses in B.C. account for one-third of all our exports. Many of them have the potential to meet the needs of customers in India, and pursuing opportunities in markets like India will help those small businesses grow into big businesses. Small and medium sizes businesses also offer strong investment opportunities like 95% of high-tech companies are classified as small businesses that offer incredible investment potential.” Quoting India as one of the world’s most important emerging economies, Mr. Campbell said,” We want Indian business leaders to know that B.C. is open to business. From forest products to our technology sector, B.C. exporters welcome the chance to partner with Indian customers and increase our business ties with one of the world’s most important emerging markets.”

Mr.Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia

“SMEs make up the backbone of the Swiss economy. According to the Swiss Federal Bureau of Statistics, 99.7% of companies in Switzerland are SMEs (up to 249 employees); 0.3% are large companies (250 employees and over). In real numbers this means that there are 297′694 SMEs compared to 1′028 large companies. I think the figures speak for themselves.
Because Switzerland is a very small market, Swiss SMEs are compelled to go global in order to stay commercially viable. They routinely encounter challenges of foreign market penetration when they do — absence of a local network or reliable partner, lack of familiarity with the local business environment, limited management capacity, to name a few common problems. This applies to Swiss SMEs entering the Indian market as well. At the Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce (SICC) we recognize the central role played by SMEs and the difficulties they encounter. Hence, we are making 2009 “Year of the SME at SICC” where we will devote ourselves to addressing these issues on behalf of our many SME members.”

Dr. Dorit Sallis, Executive Director, Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce (SICC) CEO, DPS Communications