About Us India - Netherlands Relations

India-Netherlands Bilateral Relations

India and the Netherlands established diplomatic relations in 1947. Year 2022 marked the 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations. Today, India and the Netherlands enjoy strong political, economic & commercial relations. High level mutual exchanges have provided impetus to the multifaceted partnership between the two countries. Water, Agriculture and Health (WAH) are 3 priority sectors of cooperation besides technology and innovation.

High Level exchanges: President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind paid a State Visit to the Kingdom of Netherlands from 4-7 April 2022. The President was ceremonially welcomed at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Maxima. Prime Minister (PM) of the Netherlands, Mr Mark Rutte met President of India on 6 April 2022.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mr Mark Rutte visited New Delhi, India in September 2023 to participate in the G20 Summit hosted by India. PM Rutte and PM Modi had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Summit. During the visit a business delegation focused on key enabling technologies travelled with him to Bengaluru.

PM Rutte had telephonic conversations with Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi twice during last year, on March 8, 2022 and July 13, 2022.  An Online Virtual Summit between the two Prime Ministers took place on April 9, 2021, wherein the India-Netherlands Strategic Partnership in Water was launched and the Joint Working Group on Water Cooperation was elevated to the Ministerial level. 

PM Rutte visited India in June 2015 and May 2018. PM Modi paid a visit to the Netherlands in June 2017. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands paid a state visit to India from October 14-18, 2019. Dr S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India paid a visit to the Netherlands in November 2019. Ms Hanke Bruins Slot, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands visited India in February 2023 to participate in the Raisina Dialogue and also met with EAM. Ms Kajsa Ollongren, Minister of Defence of the Netherlands visited India in February 2023 to participate in the Raisina Dialogue and also met with Raksha Mantri. Speaker, Lok Sabha Shri Om Birla visited Netherlands in August 2022 and interacted with the President of the Senate, Mr Jan Anthonie Bruijn. Prof Bruijn visited India in October 2023 to participate in the P20 Summit and had a bilateral meeting with Speaker, Lok Sabha.

Institutional Mechanisms: India and the Netherlands discuss issues covering the entire gamut of bilateral relations, through annual consultations led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on both sides. The last Foreign Office Consultations were held in New Delhi inDecember 2022. The two sides have Joint Working Groups (JWGs) at functional level in the fields of (i) Science & Technology (ii) Agriculture (iii) Healthcare (iv) Urban Development and (vi) Counter Terrorism (vii) Shipping (viii) Ministerial Joint Working Group on Water

Indo-Pacific: The Netherlands issued its guidelines on the Indo-Pacific in 2020 which identifies India as a key partner. India welcomed the guidelines. Both sides recognize the close convergence between each other’s vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

Trade and Commercial Relations: The Netherlands is India’s largest trading partner in Europe (2022-23) and the 4th largest investor in India. Bilateral trade touched an all-time high of USD 27.582 billion in 2022-23. This includes exports worth USD 21.621 billion and imports worth approx. USD 5.961 billion. The cumulative FDI inflows from Netherlands to India from April 2000 to December 2022 amounted to USD 43.7 billion. There are over 300 Dutch companies present in India, including Philips, Signify, Akzo Nobel, DSM, Heineken, KLM and others. Indian companies are also investing in the Netherlands in a big way and Netherlands is now the 4th largest destination for Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) by Indian companies. More than 300 Indian companies, including all major IT companies such as TCS, HCL, Wipro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and important players from other sectors like Sun Pharmaceuticals, Tata Steel, Solis and LT Foods, have presence in Netherlands. A Joint Statement to formally establish a bilateral Fast-Track Mechanism (FTM) between India and the Netherlands to facilitate investments by Dutch companies in India, was signed by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Embassy of Netherlands on September 27, 2022 in New Delhi.

Water Management: Cooperation in the water sector has been given a further boost by the decision to institute a ‘Strategic Partnership on Water’, and upgrade the JWG on Water to Ministerial-level during the virtual summit held in April 2021. The 1st meeting of the Ministerial JWG on water was held in India in April 2023 during the visit of Mr. Mark Harbers, Minister of Infrastructure & water Management of the Netherlands. The Netherlands is engaged with various States and Municipalities in India to implement water related projects including the States of UP (Namami Ganga Programme), Tamil Nadu (water as leverage, water management and conservation) and Kerala (flood management).

Ports/Shipping/Inland Waterways: India and Netherlands renewed an MoU in the field of Ports and Maritime Transport and Logistics in April 2023 during the visit of Minister Mark Harbers to India. It has a special focus on research and development, shipbuilding, innovation and sustainability. The 4th Indo-Dutch Forum on Smart & Sustainable Port-Led Development was held in September 2020. Port of Rotterdam, Port of Amsterdam and Dutch companies took part in the online Maritime India Summit held in March 2021. Maritime sector was one of the focus areas for the Dutch trade delegation which accompanied the King and Queen of Netherlands during their state visit to India in 2019.Many Dutch companies in the Shipping and logistics sector have presence in India. They are providing logistics services, dredging and consultancy for Indian ports.

Agriculture and Food Processing: Agriculture is one of the core sectors identified by the two sides for enhancing bilateral cooperation. India and Netherlands cooperate on agriculture through a Joint Working Group which is led by Ministries of Agriculture on both sides. The 6th meeting of Indo-Dutch JWG on Agriculture Cooperation was held digitally in June 2021. Under the JWG, India and Netherlands have signed an action plan which envisages cooperation in establishing Centres of Excellence. We have set an ambitious agenda to establish 25 CoEs by 2025 in Agri sector, 9 out of which are already functional while 10 more applications are under process. India also participated in Floriade 2022, which is an international exhibition and garden festival, held every 10 years in the Netherlands.

Healthcare cooperation: An MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Healthcare and Public Health was signed in January 2014 to promote global research collaboration in emerging health challenges associated with communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance. India and Netherlands cooperate through a Joint Working Group on Health led by the Ministry of Health on both sides under this MoU. The 5th meeting of this JWG was held in February 2023and discussions were held on antimicrobial resistance, Covid-19 vaccination, collaboration on digital health and so on. A Memorandum of Intent on Medical Products Regulation was signed by both sides in November 2023.

Urban Development and Smart Cities: India and the Netherlands signed an MoU in the field of Spatial Planning, Water Management and Mobility Management in 2013. Under the MoU, both sides cooperate through a JWG led by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, India and Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands. The 4th meeting of the JWG was held in November 2022 and discussed cooperation in various fields including in urban development, smart city, waste-to-value projects, geospatial innovation and so on.

Renewable Energy: India and Netherlands have strong cooperation in Renewable Energy. The Netherlands signed the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in May 2018. India is one of the convening countries of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), headquartered in the Netherlands. The Netherlands joined the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) in 2021. PM Modi addressed the Climate Adaptation Summit hosted by the Netherlands in January 2021 and had called for CDRI and GCA to work together to enhance infrastructure resilience globally. NITI Aayog, India’s premier policy think tank, and the Embassy of Netherlands, signed a Statement of Intent on 28th September 2020, through which both sides agreed to work together to support the decarbonisation and energy transition agenda. In February 2023, India and the Netherlands have signed an MoU for cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy including clean energy and Green Hydrogen.

S&T and Space: The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) collaborates with major national funders of research in India such as Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY). The Netherlands was India’s partner country in the Technology Summit 2019 held in New Delhi. The Netherlands was partner country with India for the Global Bio India 2021 Virtual Summit which was held in March 2021. ISRO has long standing cooperation with European Space Agency which has its European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) based in Noordwijk, Netherlands. 8thMeeting of the Joint working Group on Science, Technology& Innovation was held in New Delhi on July 07, 2023.

Cultural Cooperation: Yoga is very popular in the Netherlands. International Day of Yoga 2023 celebrations took place in around 10 cities across Netherlands. An ICCR Cultural Centre "The Gandhi Centre" has been functional in The Hague since 2011. The Centre has an active calendar of programmes including Yoga, Sanskrit, Tabla, Kathak and Hindi language classes, in addition to various programmes related to Indian culture including music, dance, workshops, movies, etc. The Gandhi Centre is also engaged in an outreach programme for various Indian (Surinami-Hindustani) schools in The Hague. An ICCR Cultural troupe led by Padmashree Ms. MaliniAwasthi also performed at the 150thAprawasi Diwas Celebrations in the Hague in June 2023.

Indian Community and Students: The Netherlands hosts the second largest Indian Diaspora (after UK) in Europe and the largest on mainland Europe, totalling around 2,60,000 comprising 60,000 Indians and 2,00,000 strong Surinami-Hindustani community of Indian origin. Netherlands is a popular education destination for Indian students, particularly in the field of science & technology. Many Dutch Universities like TU Delft, Leiden University, Wageningen University and Maastricht University have long standing collaboration with Indian universities. The number of Indian students has been steadily growing over the years and more than 3500 Indian students are studying in the Netherlands presently.