Swiss President For Coop In R&D

Bangalore, Nov 7: | Updated: Nov 8 2003, 05:30am hrs
While calling for scientific cooperation between India and Switzerland, visiting Swiss President Pascal Couchepin has said that there was `huge room' for improved industrial cooperation among the two countries. Switzerland, which is among the 10 largest foreign direct investors in the country, could fundamentally increase its stake in the industry here, he said.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Couchepin said India should compete with other Asian countries to attract foreign direct investment. ``The competency would depend on what is your policy and how you attract investment.'' The bilateral trade among the two countries is currently $1 billion.

To curtail brain drain and to promote what he termed `brain circulation' among India and Switzerland, scientists from both the countries should cooperate in research areas. India's progress in the areas of science and technology, especially information technology and bio technology was `extraordinary', he said.

``What has happened in India over the past 10 years, would not happen in many countries in a century.''

The Swiss delegation, including the heads of two Swiss scientific research institutes, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich signed a letter of intent for cooperation with seven Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science. The areas of the tie up include faculty exchange, student exchange, joint research programmes, training of scientists, exchange of information among others.

Indo Swiss scientific cooperation could be followed by larger industrial cooperation, he added.