On the celebration of the National Day of the Swiss Confederation, we have the great pleasure to extend our warmest greetings, along with our best wishes for the prosperity and the well-being of the Swiss people.
Switzerland is a great nation with a significant history for the value of unity in diversity, more relevant today than ever, especially in the context of major challenges facing Europe. Understanding the importance of solidarity is essential, as it is directly linked to our ability to deliver positive results to the people of both our nations, first and foremost, but also to the rest of the Europe.
The strong relations between Romania and Switzerland are illustrated by the intensive political and economic contacts between our two countries. The cultural, intellectual and people-to-people relations, built upon a traditional friendship, are also extremely rich and fruitful. We are pleased to affirm that the bilateral relations between our two countries are firmly set on an ascending trend. Over the past years, we have developed a dynamic relationship and our economic ties have become stronger, while the sectorial dialogue has evolved considerably. This is an excellent prerequisite for deepening, on a pragmatic basis, our relations both bilaterally, as well as in the larger European context.
Romania and Switzerland share today common political values (democracy, human rights, rule of law) and interests (international security, fight against terrorism etc.) which also serve as the framework for in-depth cooperation. These common values and interests contribute to the enhancement of our bilateral relations.
On this occasion, we would also like to underline our appreciation for the consistent activity of the Swiss Ambassador Jean-Hubert Lebet, who just finished his mandate in Romania. We appreciated his dedicated implication in the implementation of the projects financed through the Swiss Contribution, an important element of our bilateral agenda. In this context, we would also like to express our gratitude to Switzer¬land for supporting this form of cooperation and for the excellent collaboration we have within this program.
In the economic field, Switzerland is an important investor in Romania. With a total capital amounting to around 1 billion EUR as of 31 December 2015, Switzerland has become the 11th largest foreign investor in Romania. Our country is hosting important Swiss companies like Holcim and Nestlé, but also small and medium Swiss companies, active in many sectors of the Romanian economy. It is our common goal to further strengthen the business relations between Swiss and Romanian companies, thus providing more substance to our economic cooperation.
On this important day for the Swiss people, we would also like to address our congratulations to the Swiss community living in Romania! Both the Swiss community in Romania and the Romanian community in Switzerland represent long-lasting bridges of cooperation and mutual understanding between Romania and Switzerland!