India and the Netherlands on 27 June 2017 released a Joint Communiqué at The Hague. The Joint Communique was released after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart, Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
The communiqué was released during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s working visit to the Netherlands on 27 June 2017. Modi was on a visit to the Netherlands at the invitation of his Dutch counterpart. His visit to the nation also marked 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands.
During this visit, Modi met with his counterpart Mark Rutte, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Maxima. In addition, Prime Minister Modi also met with representatives of Dutch companies operating in the Indian market and those who are keen to invest there.
Earlier on his arrival, the Prime Minister was welcomed at Schiphol Airport by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders.
Highlights of the Joint Communiqué
Terrorism: In the Communiqué, the two leaders expressed concerns about the threat of terrorism and violent extremism across the world and especially in the two nations. Expressing concerns about the spread of terrorism they reaffirmed their commitment to combat terror and prevent radicalization that could lead to violent extremism. They also reiterated the need for a unified and collective effort by the international community to eliminate terrorism through a holistic approach.
Agreeing that there should be zero-tolerance on terrorism, they affirmed that the fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and bring to justice terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues.
They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism both at the bilateral level and within the multilateral system. In this regard, they called for early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
Non-proliferation objectives: Both leaders resolved to continue their efforts to strengthen global non-proliferation objectives. Prime Minister Modi thanked the Netherlands for its role in India’s accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016. Both leaders agreed that the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group would benefit from India’s membership. The Netherlands expressed its support for India’s early membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement. For the Australia Group, the Netherlands welcomed India’s recent application for membership.
Cyberspace: The two Prime Ministers agreed to continue their joint efforts to strengthen a free, open and secure cyberspace. They also stressed the importance of the Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) as a unique platform where strategic cyber issues are discussed in a representative high-level multi-stakeholder setting. In this context, India’s decision to host the next GCCS on 23-24 November 2017, after the Netherlands hosted the 2015 edition, was welcomed.
United Nations Security Council: In the context of the upcoming Dutch membership of the United Nations Security Council in 2018, both leaders expressed their intention to closely collaborate on global and regional challenges. They discussed their shared desire to make the United Nations, including the Security Council, more broadly representative, efficient and transparent. Prime Minister Rutte confirmed the Dutch support for a permanent seat for India in the Security Council.
Bilateral economic and commercial engagement: The two Prime Ministers noted that the bilateral economic and commercial engagement between the two countries has expanded significantly. At present, the Netherlands is the 5th largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India. The two nations share established partnerships in fields of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Ports and Logistics and Renewable Energy.
A key ingredient in the Indo-Dutch cooperation is the use of innovation and technology to improve water and waste management, thus contributing to the Clean India campaign. Dutch agro-experts are involved in exploring ways to shift to crops that are less water-intensive and will generate higher income for the farmer.
In this context, the Netherlands has created a consortium of fruit chain companies mainly working in hilly regions, creating a win-win situation, as India can develop its fruit sector in a faster pace with opportunities for Dutch companies and knowledge. The Prime Ministers also noted with satisfaction that more Dutch companies are planning significant investments in India, supporting the Make in India campaign.
Besides, the two Prime Ministers also appreciated the substantive investments made by Indian companies in the Dutch economy, in particular in the fields of information technology, pharmaceuticals, vaccine, iron and steel, machinery and automotive sectors.
Two-way trade and investment flow: Appreciating the growth in trade and investment flows, the two leaders called for mobilising investment in opportunities in the two countries. Modi called for concerted efforts to mobilise Dutch and European private capital for investing in infrastructure opportunities in India. On the other hand, Prime Minister Rutte called for more Indian companies and financial institutions to strengthen their presence in the Netherlands.
In addition, both leaders agreed that an institutional partnership between the Netherlands and India would underscore the role of the Netherlands as the financial hub of Europe as well as an important source of private capital in funding India's development. Prime Minister Modi encouraged the Dutch Pension Funds to participate in India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund.
Science and technology: The two leaders welcomed the ongoing cooperation in the field of science and technology, particularly in biotechnology. They appreciated the joint collaborations in the field of water and waste management, big data, crop sciences, public health and medical technology. They commended the ongoing projects in the field of water and waste management under the Dutch Indo Water Alliance Leadership Initiative (DIWALI) in Vadodara and Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS) in Delhi.
International Solar Alliance [ISA]: Prime Minister Modi invited the Netherlands to join the International Solar Alliance [ISA]. Prime Minister Rutte appreciated the lead taken by India to galvanise global action on Climate Change through the initiative and declared that the Netherlands would consider the invitation positively.
Direct air connectivity: The two leaders agreed to strengthen the direct air connectivity between India and the Netherlands. This connectivity will be helpful for the residents of the two countries, at present Netherlands hosts the second largest Indian diaspora in Europe.
In addition to all these, the communiqué also talks about the agreements signed on cooperation in the field of water management, culture and social security. It terms The Netherlands as India’s ‘Gateway to Europe’. The communiqué says that 20 per cent of India’s exports to Europe enters through the Netherlands.
At the end of his visit to the Netherlands, Prime Minister Modi invited Prime Minister Rutte to visit India on a mutually convenient date.
When: 27 June 2017