About Us India - Netherlands Relations

India-Netherlands Bilateral Relations

Overview: India and the Netherlands established diplomatic relations in 1947. Today, India and the Netherlands have strong political, economic & commercial relations, and various sectoral co- operations. Mutual exchanges at high-level have provided impetus to the multifaceted ties between India and the Netherlands further strengthening and developing the growing bilateral relationship. Three pillars of the bilateral relations are WAH-Water, Agriculture and Health.

Recent exchanges: Modi and PM Mark Rutte held a Virtual Summit on April 09, 2021. The two leaders had a detailed review of the entire spectrum of bilateral relationship and agreed on instituting a ‘Strategic Partnership on Water’ to further deepen the Indo-Dutch cooperation in the water related sector. EAM spoke telephonically with the Dutch Foreign Minister in June and November 2020. Minister of Commerce & Industry spoke to Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in May 2020.

Recent visits to the Netherlands: Modi visited the Netherlands in June 2017, during which he called on the King and Queen of the Netherlands, held bilateral meeting with Rutte, participated in a round table with CEOs of 16 key Dutch companies, and addressed a large gathering of over 3000 members of the Indian diaspora. During his visit to the Netherlands in November 2019, EAM held talks with his Dutch counterpart, and also interacted with Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Dutch House of Representatives. Minister of Food Processing Industries visited in August 2017 and September 2018. Minister for AYUSH visited in August 2018. The Chief Ministers of Kerala and Himachal Pradesh visited in 2019.

Recent visits to India: Rutte led a large Dutch trade mission to India in May 2018. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands undertook 5-day State Visit to India in October 2019. This was the first visit of King Willem-Alexander to India as the King of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

They led a high-powered ministerial delegation and the largest ever Dutch trade delegation to India. They also visited Mumbai and Kerala.

Counter Terrorism and Cyber security: The 1st bilateral cyber security dialogue and the 2nd India-Netherlands JWG on counter terrorism, held in December 2018 in the Hague, enhanced the scope of the bilateral dialogues on security related issues.

Indo-Pacific: The Netherlands issued its guidelines on the Indo-Pacific in 2020 which identifies India as a key partner to engage with. India welcomed the guidelines. Both sides recognise the close convergence between each others vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

Trade and Commercial Relations: The Netherlands was the fifth largest investor in India for FY 2020-21 with FDI inflows of USD 2.8 billion. For the same period, the Netherlands was the third largest destination for overseas direct investment from India (approx. USD 1.22 billion). The Netherlands was India’s 3rd largest trading partner in the Europe in FY 2020-2021. During FY 2020-2021, total two-way trade stood at US$13 billion with export from India amounting to US$ 8.85 billion and imports from the Netherlands at US$ 4.1 billion.

Water Management: Cooperation in the water sector has been enhanced by the decision to institute ‘Strategic Partnership on Water’, and upgrading of the JWG on water to Ministerial-level. India is a Delta country for the Netherlands. The Netherlands is engaged with various States and Municipalities including in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra.

Ports/Shipping/Inland Waterways: The MoU in the fields of ports and maritime transport and logistics has been extended, with 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. Dutch companies including Port of Rotterdam and Port of Amsterdam took part in the online Maritime India Summit held in March 2021.

Agriculture and Food Processing: Agriculture is a key sector of bilateral cooperation. Food (solutions in food waste, horticulture, dairy and aqua culture) was the core theme of the 6th Indo-Dutch JWG on Agriculture Cooperation held digitally in June 2021. The first ever digital innovation mission to India which focused on Climate Smart Agriculture was organized by the Dutch Government in September 2020 in coordination with CII. Under Indo-Dutch Joint Agro-Action Plan, two Centres of Excellence (CoE) at Baramati, Maharashtra and Wayanad, Kerala have been established. Several other CoEs are in the pipelines including CoEs in Talegaon, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Srinagar and Jammu. The two sides are working to set up 25 CoEs by 2025.

Healthcare cooperation: JWGs have been held since 2014 under the MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Healthcare and Public Health to promote greater research collaboration in emerging health challenges associated with communicable diseases and anti-microbial resistance. Health Pilot Project have been implemented in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, MoU on cooperation in the area of healthcare innovation have signed between the City of The Hague and the State of Karnataka.

Urban Development and Smart Cities: India and the Netherlands have signed an MoU in the field of Spatial Planning, Water Management and Mobility Management, under which cooperation in various fields including in urban development, smart city, waste-to-value projects, geospatial, innovation continue.

Sports: One Million Hockey Legs Social Projects (renamed as Bovelander Foundation), initiated under the MoU in the field of Sports Infrastructure signed between India and the Netherlands in 2014, carried out extensive exercises and projects across several Indian States since its foundation in 2015. West Bengal has signed an MoU with with the Netherlands’ largest football association, ‘Royal Netherlands Football Association’, under which Dutch coaches will train football players in West Bengal. KoninklijkeNederlandse Hockey Bond (KNHB) and Hockey India cooperates on different projects related to field hockey.

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. The Netherlands joined the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) in 2021. India invited the Netherlands to support CDRI's Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) for Small Island Developing States. Cooperation in the area of renewable energy continues under an MoU singed in 2014. In the virtual Dutch Trade Mission held in February 2021 solar energy, hydrogen, biofuels , energy transition and e-mobility were a core theme.

S&T and Space: 2018 was the 10th anniversary of cooperation between the Netherlands and India in science and innovation. 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. India and the Netherlands have agreed to launch two new calls on the WAH! Agenda, committing to boost their investments in science technology and innovation under the shared knowledge and Innovation agenda.

Indian Community and Diaspora: The Netherlands hosts the largest Indian Diaspora on mainland Europe, including 2,00,000 strong Surinami-Hindustani community of Indian origin. Descendants up to sixth generation of the original Indian immigrants who had arrived in Suriname and later migrated to the Netherlands can avail OCI facility. The approximate 48,000 NRIs/PIOs are mainly businessmen, knowledge workers, professionals and students. Indian students are amongst the top 3 in terms of numbers amongst non-EU foreign students in the Netherlands.


August 2021