Dutch PM Rutte in India: Both countries agree to deepening engagement in agriculture and tradehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-netherlands-narendra-modi-mark-rutte-mea-raveesh-kumar-5189568/

Dutch PM Rutte in India: Both countries agree to deepening engagement in agriculture and trade

The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte's visit is expected to boost the economic and political cooperation between India and The Netherlands.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte hold talks. (Source: Twitter/@MEAIndia)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte held delegation-level talks on Thursday, in which the two nations agreed on deepening engagement in a range of areas including trade, investment, energy and agriculture. In a media statement, released after the talks, PM Modi said his commitment towards economic reforms will remain strong.

The deliberations between the two leaders involved regional and global issues of mutual interest, besides bilateral matters. The prime minister also hailed Netherlands’s entry into the International Solar Alliance, saying, “I had called upon the Netherlands to join the International Solar Alliance and I am happy to tell you that the country has become a member of it today.”.

The two countries also agreed on cooperation in areas of agriculture and food processing. “The areas of agriculture and food processing are important to us, and the Netherlands has expertise in both the fields. I am happy to share that Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence for Vegetables has started in Pune’s Baramati,” PM Modi said.

The Dutch prime minister, in his comments, said there was a huge scope for the two countries to deepen cooperation in areas of trade and investment, clean energy, agriculture and smart cities. Looking forward to holding further deliberations, Rutte said, “Many Indian companies, which are active in the Netherlands, are helping us to build a more successful and more resilient society. I look forward to all the future meetings.”

Earlier in the day, PM Modi had welcomed the Dutch prime minister in a tweet, saying “India welcomes you Prime Minister Rutte. I look forward to our talks today.”

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Rutte, who is visiting India for the second time as prime minister, is accompanied by a strong business delegation. The Dutch prime minister had visited India in June 2015. His visit this year comes within a year of PM Modi’s trip to the Netherlands in June 2017.

Earlier, Rutte had expressed his happiness over his visit to India in a tweet in Hindi. “India and the Netherlands have shared close relations for the past 70 years which have strengthened over the passage of time. Eager to meet @narendramodi,” he wrote on Twitter.

Calling Netherlands a crucial partner in India’s initiatives, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “An important partner in our flagship initiatives! PM @narendramodi welcomed the PM of Netherlands, Mark Rutte at the Hyderabad House ahead of the bilateral talks. This is the 2nd visit of @MinPres Rutte to India. Netherlands is the 4th largest investor in India in diverse sectors.”

The bilateral trade between India and Netherlands amounts to USD 5.39 billion and the two nations will focus on its further expansion. Netherlands is the fifth largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of USD 23 billion from 2000 to December 2017. The country is also home to a 2,35,000-strong Indian diaspora, the largest in mainland Europe.

Rutte is on a two-day visit to India. He is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, and Minister for Medical Care Bruno Bruins on his trip. The Dutch prime minister’s visit is expected to boost the economic and political cooperation between India and The Netherlands.

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