Mesmerised by the beauty of sun-kissed beaches and the green-capped hillocks, Bangalore-based Consulate General of Switzerland Rolf Frei said on Wednesday that he had fallen in love with the city on his maiden visit.

In the city to explore investment opportunities, Mr. Frei said the people of Vizag were very warm and charming. “The way I am being received is quite amazing. The city and its people are very warm and beautiful. When my flight was landing, I was thrilled to see the panoramic view of the blue waters of Bay of Bengal and the hills,” he told The Hindu.

He said the Switzerland government was looking at strengthening the bilateral ties in trade and commerce. The Consulate office was opened in Bangalore two years ago recognising the immense investment potential in and from South India.

Mr. Frei said they were looking at investment opportunities in tourism, infrastructure, information and communication technology, retail, life sciences, clean technologies, research and development and education. “Many from South India are investing in Switzerland because it’s the gateway to the Europe and has excellent infrastructure and tax incentives,” he stated.

Biotech and IT offices have been opened with an investment of $1 billion by Indians in Switzerland. The Swiss investment in India is of the order of $4 billion. “We have made the 11 biggest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India,” he disclosed. Thirty Indian companies with interest in Europe have so far opened their offices in Switzerland.

“We have stable political environment, skilled manpower and excellent infrastructure. Low taxes are the main attraction,” he said.

Mr. Frei said 20 to 30 per cent of foreign tourists who visit Switzerland every year were from India. “Our tourist spots, round the year particularly in summer from May to September offer a fabulous experience to the tourists,” he remarked.

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