India and the Netherlands have signed three MOUs after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in Hague the Netherlands. Prime Minister’s visit to the Netherlands has come at a time when both the countries are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations.
The Netherlands has backed India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other multilateral export control regimes. The Netherlands also supported India’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat. For its part, India has thanked the Netherlands for its role in India’s accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016. Also, Prime Minister Modi invited the Netherlands to join the International Solar Alliance. In addition, both the countries have reaffirmed their commitment towards Paris climate deal.
In total three agreements were signed:
- MOU on Cultural Cooperation,
- MOU on Water Cooperation
- Agreement on Amending Social Security Arrangement
After Independence, Indo-Dutch relations have been multifaceted. Since, the 1980s, the Netherlands have identified India as an important economic partner. The relationship got further intensified after India’s economic liberalisation in the 1990s.
Both the countries have the potential to further collaborate in areas like water management; infrastructure, logistics, ports, highways; inland water transportation; ICT; biotech; agriculture, agro-processing, floriculture; creative design industry etc. Major Indian exports to the Netherlands includes textiles & garments; electric machinery & equipment; agricultural products and processed foods including marine products; leather goods etc. The main imports from Netherlands include machinery/equipment; medical/optical instruments; chemicals; plastics, and metal products.
Netherlands is host to one of the largest population of people of Indian origin in Europe. It is home to about 220,000 Indian and Surinami Hindustani Diaspora.