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Brief on India-Netherlands Bilateral Trade and Investment

Indo-Dutch business relations date back to more than 400 years. In 1604, the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, the VOC) began trading in India, first establishing itself in Dutch Coromandel, notably Pulicat, looking for textiles to exchange with the spices they traded in the East Indies.Diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands were established in 1947.

Economic and commercial ties between India and the Netherlands are an important facet of the overall Indo-Dutch relations. India’s economic interests in the Netherlands include technical cooperation as a partner in key areas such as water management, agriculture and food processing, health,environment,transport and logistics infrastructure, health, services sector, and science and technology.

Bilateral Trade

The Netherlands is India’s 11thlargest merchandise trading partner in the world and the largest in the European Union. During the F.Y. 2022-2023, the total merchandise trade with the Netherlands stood at USD 27.580 billion (INR 222,286.42 crores) compared to USD 17.022 billion in the F.Y. 2021-2022, a YoY growth of 62.03%. The total merchandise trade with the Netherlands accounts for 2.36% of India’s total merchandise trade.

The Netherlands is India’s largest merchandise export destination in Europe and third largest in the world. In the F.Y. 2022-2023, India exported USD 21.618 billion (INR 174,409.18 crores) worth of goods to the Netherlands. The main items of Indian exports to the Netherlands include petroleum products, engineering goods, organic & inorganic chemicals, telecom instruments, electronic goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, readymade garments of all textiles, leather and leather manufactures, fruits and vegetables, plastic and linoleum, marine products, spices, rice, handicrafts, iron ore, gems and jewellery, ceramic products and glassware, carpet, cereal preparations, oil meals, jute, tea, tobacco, oilseeds and coffee.

In the F.Y. 2022-2023, the Netherlands exported USD 5.961 billion (INR 47,877 crores) worth of goods to India. The main items of Dutch exports to India include organic chemicals, plastic raw material, medical and scientific instruments, iron and steel, machinery for dairy, electronics instruments, aluminium and products of aluminium, drug formulations and biologicals, and silver.

Table 3: India-Netherlands Bilateral Trade

Financial Year

Amount in USD Billion

% Share in India’s Total Trade



Total Trade

Trade Balance





(+) 4.750






(+) 4.975






(+) 3.155






(+) 8.066






(+) 15.657


April 2023 - Feb 2024




(+) 15.671


Source:Department Commerce,Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India

There are over 300 Dutch companies present in India, including major players like Philips, Signify, Akzo Nobel, DSM, KLM, Rabobank, Heineken, TomTom, Paques, Boskalis, Van Oord, Damen Shipyards, Vopak, Aegon, etc. Similarly, there are over 300 Indian companies present in the Netherlands, including all the major IT companies such as TCS, HCL, Wipro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, as well as Tata Steel, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Reddy’s,Aurobindo Pharma, LT Foods, Nature Bio Foods, Solis, Mittal Steel and United Phosphorus Limited (UPL). We also have the headquarters of the Indian PSU ‘ONGC Nile Ganga B.V.’ in the Netherlands.

Indian companies have made major acquisitions in the Netherlands like hotel company ‘OYO Hotels and Homes’ acquisitionof Amsterdam-based vacation rental firm @Leisure Group, Tata Steel’s purchase of Anglo-Dutch ‘Corus’,Ola’s acquisition of electric scooter company ‘Etergo’, Apollo Tyres’ acquisition of Dutch tyre-maker Vredestein Banden, Aspire Systems’ acquisition of Dutch-Polish software solutions firm Goyello, and the purchase of the Dutch company Bilthoven Biologicals (BBio) by the Serum Institute of India.

There are a number of organizations that are active in promoting India-Netherlands trade and investment such as the NetherlandsIndia Chamber of Commerce & Trade (NICCT) and the Indian Business Chamber (IBC).

Bilateral Investment

The Netherlands is the fifth largest foreign investor in India during F.Y. 2022-2023 with FDI equity inflows of USD 2.498billion (INR 19,855 crores). From April 2000 to December 2023, the Netherlands was the fourth largest investor into India comprising 6.91% of overall investment with cumulative FDI equity inflow of USD 46.037 billion (INR 302,213 crores).

Table 1:FDI Equity Inflows to India from the Netherlands

Financial Year

Amount in USD Million

(INR in Crores)


1,856 (10,054)


2,270 (13,920)


3,436 (20,960)


2,643 (17,275)


3,367 (22,633)


2,800 (18,048)


3,870 (27,036)


6,500 (46,071)


2,789 (20,830)


4,620 (34,442)


2,498 (19,855)

April-Dec 2023

2,278 (18,765)

April 2000 -Dec 2023

(Cumulative FDI)

46,037 (302,213)

Source:Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India

During the period April 2000 till March 2024, the Netherlands is the fourth largest destination of foreign investment (Overseas Direct Investments - ODI) by Indian companies worth USD 24.99 billion accounting for 8.30% of total overseas investments.In F.Y. 2023-2024, the Netherlands was the fifth largest destination for ODI from India with investments of USD 1,090 million.

Table 2:ODI Outflows from India to the Netherlands

Financial Year

Amount in USDMillion























April 2000 – March 2024

(Cumulative ODI)


Source:Department ofEconomic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India

High Level Visits to Promote Trade and Investment

In 2017, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited the Netherlands marking the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between India and the Netherlands. A high-level CEOs roundtable also took place during the visit.

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte along with a high-level delegation visited India from May 24-25, 2018 and was accompanied by over 130 Dutch companies/institutions and nearly 200 trade representatives.

The Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima visited India as state guests from 14-18 October 2019 and were accompanied by the largest ever Dutch trade delegation to India comprising over 140 Dutch companies/institutions and nearly 250 business representatives. The focus areas of the delegation were the water sector, agri-food, healthcare, technology and maritime sector. The delegation visited New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kochi.Stef Blok (Dutch Foreign Minister), Sigrid Kaag (Minister for Foreign Trade and Development), Bruno Bruins (Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport)and Mona Keijzer (State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) accompanied the delegation along with Ineke Dezentje Hamming-Bluemink, Chairman of FME, the largest industrial employers and business organization in the Netherlands. 51 MoUs and agreements were signed between Dutch and Indian partners during the visit.

The Netherlands was India’s partner country for the Technology Summit at New Delhi which took place from 15-16 October 2019.

From 8-12 February 2021, a Dutch virtual trade mission to India took place led by Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development. The three focus areas of the trade delegation included Water, Food waste and energy.

The President of India Ram Nath Kovind paid a State Visit to the Netherlands from 4-7 April 2022. The President welcomed Dutch start-ups and SMEs working in geospatial mapping, Artificial Intelligence, clean energy, assistive technology, and biomedical devices to ‘Make in India’ and innovate in India. Other announcements during the visit includeextension of MoU on bilateral cooperation in the field of Ports, Maritime Transport, and Logistics; and the extension of the Programme of Cooperation between Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Government of the Netherlands.

The Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Keshav Prasad Maurya led a delegation to the Netherlands from 15-17 December 2022. The Minister for Information Technology& Electronics of UP Yogendra Upadhyay was also a part of the delegation. The delegation visited several Dutch companies.The delegation held G2B meetings with CEOs/CXOs of several Dutch companies.AConference on ‘Investment Opportunities in Uttar Pradesh’took place during the visit, in which around 70 representatives from both Dutch and Indian companies participated.

The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher participated in the Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting at Jaipur on 24-25 August 2023 that was organized under India’s G20 Presidency. In the Meeting, she stressed the need to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte led the Netherlands Trade Mission to Bengaluru from 10-14 September 2023. The trade mission followed the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi from 9-10 September 2023. Around 90 representatives from over 60 Dutch companies were part of the trade mission representing the sectors of key enabling technologies, medical technologies and sustainable food systems. Around 27 MoUs were signed by Dutch and Indian stakeholders to reinforce the partnerships in semiconductors, cloud computing, sustainable agriculture, research and development in greenhouses, crop varieties, and technology development for the affordable healthcare sector.