Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today invited global companies to come and invest in India as he chaired the Country Strategy Dialogue here at the World Economic Forum.

He also met his Swiss counterpart J N Schneider Ammann and discussed the ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

“A number of obstacles remain, but both sides want to make significant progress in 2018,” Ammann said after the meeting.

Prabhu tweeted that he had a great discussion with his Swiss counterpart and they both are fully committed to concluding the ongoing India-EFTA talks.

“Considering the nature of our economies, we must accommodate more. Our being a service based economy, it is an important element of our narrative and future,” Prabhu said.

He also discussed the future of production with over 20 ministers and 30 global CEOs as a member of the Global Board of Stewards.

Prabhu said he highlighted India’s commitment to emerge as a manufacturing hub for industries of future.

Besides, the minister held several meetings with business leaders on the sidelines of the WEF summit, including on the development of multi-modal logistics infrastructure in India with John Aurik, Global CEO of A T Kearny.

He also discussed opportunities around online travel platforms for local tourism with the CEO of Gillian Tans besides deliberations about the road ahead for American Tower investments in India with Chairman James Taiclet.

At the Country Strategy Dialogue on India, which was earlier to be chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who could not come to Davos, Prabhu talked about the government initiatives for fourth industrial revolution sectors.

He also talked about the ongoing work around 7-8 industries of the future and developing district-level plans to spurt growth.

The dialogue was attended by leading CEOs and Prabhu invited them to come and invest in India and be a part of its inevitable growth story.

In his meeting with the Swiss minister, Prabhu said, “I expressed my deep desire to understand the cooperative structure of Switzerland which is one of the best in the world and take back the learning for my country”.

“Great alignment in our efforts to preserve global trade and multilateralism. I offered to jointly host the mini ministerial in March in India to showcase our commitment and resolve against protectionism,” Prabhu tweeted later.

“Switzerland and India share common values on democracy and multilateralism. It is pertinent for us both to get together to save WTO. We don’t want to take sides but take everybody along,” he said.

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