About a dozen representatives of different cantons in Switzerland visited Coimbatore on Monday after holding meetings in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. They would visit Mumbai on Tuesday.The objective of the visits was to promote various locations in Switzerland for Indian investment and to look at business opportunities in India for the Swiss companies. Coimbatore too had some IT companies. Mr. Rudolf said that in Greater Zurich, which encompasses seven cantons, financial sector was huge in terms of employment and value creation. Some of the other major sectors were machine and machine tool, research and development, pharmaceutical and Intellectual Property Rights. Switzerland’s strengths were in engineering and technology and providing customer-specific solutions.
It still had manufacturing and there was pressure on the companies to be cost competitive and to be closer to the emerging markets. So, industrialised processes could be outsourced to cities such as Coimbatore.Some of the options tapped by the Swiss companies now were Eastern Europe and China. Depending on the standard of competency of the Coimbatore units, industrial processes could be outsourced here.
Arvind Tilak, Principal Representative India of Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion Organisation, said that outsourcing potential was high with the Swiss companies. Investments were increasing on both sides. However, it was relatively small to what it could be. Another area of high potential for collaboration was Intellectual Property Rights. Switzerland had multi-cultural hubs and these could be used by the Indian companies to expand to other markets.