Dutch Prime Minister in India A Report

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The financial capital of India, Mumbai, received an investment commitment of Rs. 9,000-crore ($14.94 billion) from the Netherlands government

The Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte paid a state visit to India from June 5-6, accompanied by Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma, senior officials and a strong business delegation representing 100 Dutch companies. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “delighted” to host his counterpart who “brave[d] the Delhi heat” to visit India.

On the first day the two leaders held “wide-ranging discussions on bilateral and global issues of mutual interest,” followed by a luncheon discussion hosted by PM Modi where 35 captains of industry from the two countries attended. “The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the longstanding and historical bonds of friendship between the two countries spanning over four centuries and shared values of democracy, pluralism, multiculturalism, human rights and rule of law,” said a joint communiqué released after the meeting. “Expressing satisfaction at the growing political, economic, institutional and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, they welcomed the new momentum in bilateral relations.”

Following in-depth discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues, both the prime ministers recognised “their shared interests and responsibilities in addressing a broad range of international issues, including peace and security, free and fair trade and an open, just, inclusive and rule-based international order.”

The two leaders also shared concerns about the threat and security in their respective neighbourhoods and agreed to “expand security and defence cooperation.” In this regard the two prime ministers “reaffirmed their commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and reiterated the need for a unified and collective effort by the international community to eliminate terrorism through a holistic approach, including the implementation of the U.N. Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,” the joint communiqués stated, adding that “[t]o enhance bilateral cooperation in this area, they welcomed the setting up of a Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism and convening of the first meeting of the group on 19 June 2015.”

“I thanked Prime Minister Rutte for Dutch support for India’s permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council,” PM Modi said. “I also thanked him for his support for India’s candidature for the Security Council in 2021-22.”

PM Modi said that the agreements between the two countries are in tune with the BJP-led NDA government’s ambitious “Make in India” mission, including in the defence sector. Agreements have been signed, among others, on manufacturing in India of dredgers in Cochin shipyard; measles and rubella vaccines, with transfer of technology. Development of coastal roads, metro lines and healthcare are other areas of cooperation for which agreements have been signed. Another important milestone for the Modi government is an agreement between the two countries to foster cooperation in skill development initiative by instituting a joint working group to facilitate exchange of best practices and collaboration in specific sectors as well as to finalise a framework Memorandum of Understanding.

“I also conveyed our decision to include the Netherlands in India’s Electronic Tourist Visa scheme,” said the Indian prime minister. “This will boost Dutch tourism in India and enhance our people-to-people ties.”

Prime Minister Rutte lauded the transformative economic initiatives introduced by Prime Minister Modi and the resurgence of the Indian economy while Prime Minister Modi commended the Netherland’s acknowledged industrial and technological competencies, and its role as the 5th largest global exporter of goods in reviving the European economy, said the joint communique. Bilateral relations between the two countries have historically been underpinned by strong economic and commercial ties, said both the leaders while expressing “satisfaction that the Netherlands had identified India as a priority country for economic engagement and had emerged as India’s 5th largest trade partner in the EU and the 5th biggest foreign investor in India.”

The two prime ministers exchanged views on India’s flagship initiatives such as “Make in India”, “Digital India”, “Skill India’” and “Clean India” and agreed that these and other specific programmes like “Affordable Housing for All”, “Ganga Rejuvenation Plan” and “Smart Cities” offered significant collaborative commercial opportunities for Indian and Dutch industries and had substantial potential to qualitatively upgrade bilateral economic engagement.

The financial capital of India, Mumbai, received an investment commitment of Rs. 9,000-crore ($14.94 billion) from the Netherlands government after a visit by PM Rutte, to be used for the development of Mumbai coastal road and metro rail projects.

The two heads of government agreed that the Netherlands was uniquely placed to become a preferred partner in key sectors such as water management and clean water technologies; shipping and inland waterways; infrastructure development, port and airport upgrading; smart cities and smart transportation; high-tech materials and systems; renewable energy and power; sanitation and solid waste management; skill development; maritime heritage and archaeology; telecommunications, agro-processing and dairy farming; horticulture and floriculture; health; biotechnology; sports; and banking and insurance.

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