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India-Netherlands Joint Communique The Hague, (June 27, 2017)

June 27, 2017

  • On 27 June 2017, Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, paid a working visit to The Netherlands at the invitation of his Dutch counterpart, Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The visit marked 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and The Netherlands. Prime Minister Modi's itinerary included official meetings with Prime Minister Rutte, His Majesty King Willem Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Maxima. In addition, Prime Minister Modi met with representatives of Dutch companies operating in the Indian market and those who are keen to invest there. Prime Minister Modi was welcomed at Schiphol Airport by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders.
  • The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the longstanding and historical bonds of friendship between the two peoples spanning over four centuries. The intensification in bilateral relations in recent years was recognized and welcomed. Political, economic, institutional and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation have clearly gained further momentum.
  • The Prime Ministers reiterated that India and the Netherlands share common values of democracy, pluralism, respect for human rights and rule of law. They confirmed their shared interests and responsibilities in addressing a broad range of global issues, including climate change, peace and security, free and fair trade, sustainable development, a free open and secure cyberspace and an open, just, inclusive and rule-based international order.
  • Expressing concern about the serious and grave threat posed by the spread of terrorism and violent extremism to both countries and the world, the Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to combat terrorism and prevent radicalization that could lead to violent extremism and reiterated the need for a unified and collective effort by the international community to eliminate terrorism through a holistic approach.
  • The two Prime Ministers stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever – 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.
  • Both Leaders strongly condemned the use of double standards in addressing the menace of terrorism and 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.
  • 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.
  • The Prime Ministers agreed to continue their joint efforts to strengthen a free, open and secure cyberspace. They 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.
  • 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.
  • The Prime Ministers agreed that the bilateral relations between India and the EU merit increased focus and attention. Recalling that the EU-India Strategic Partnership was launched in 2004 during the Dutch Presidency of EU and the most recent EU-India Summit, in March 2016 took place during the Dutch Presidency, they expressed the hope for an early resumption of negotiations leading to the conclusion of the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement between India and the EU.
  • The Prime Ministers noted a significant expansion in bilateral economic and commercial engagement. The Netherlands is the 5th largest source of Foreign Direct Investment for India. A vast array of natural synergies provides ample opportunities for complementarity: in many sectors, India’s needs match Dutch strengths and vice versa. In Agriculture, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Ports and Logistics and Renewable Energy promising partnerships have already been established. 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.
  • The two Prime Ministers 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. They also took note of the competitive value that Indian companies and professionals were adding to the Dutch economy. Taking advantage of greater technology connect through Amsterdam Internet Exchange Hub, major Indian IT and technology companies are enhancing their footprint in the Netherlands. The space sector has seen new collaborations in space technology and the use of geo information for climate modelling and air quality prediction. Showing a clear potential for impact, efforts are already underway to expand the public private partnership cooperation model in various areas of healthcare.
  • 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.
  • Prime Minister Rutte reiterated his praise, as expressed during his visit to India in 2015, for the transformative economic initiatives introduced by Prime Minister Modi and the resurgence of the Indian economy. In the two years since their last bilateral meeting, it has become evident that Prime Minister Modi’s initiatives are bearing fruit. The leaders reaffirmed that the Netherlands is uniquely placed as a preferred partner in India’s development in key sectors such as water management and clean water technologies; shipping and inland waterways; infrastructure development, port and airport upgrading; smart cities and smart transportation; high-tech materials and systems; renewable energy and power; sanitation and solid waste management; skill development; telecommunications, agro-processing and dairy farming; horticulture and floriculture; health; biotechnology; sports; insurance and banking.
  • The two leaders appreciated the growth in two-way trade and investment flows between the two countries. Prime Minister Modi called for concerted efforts to mobilize Dutch and European private capital for investing in infrastructure opportunities in India. Prime Minister Rutte called for more Indian companies and financial institutions to strengthen their presence in the Netherlands. 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 to fund India’s development. Prime Minister Modi encouraged the Dutch Pension Funds to participate in India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund.
  • 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.
  • With 20% of India’s exports to Europe entering through the Netherlands, the Prime Ministers discussed the role of the Netherlands as India’s ‘Gateway to Europe’. They assessed that this position is only expected to grow in the coming years as a result of developments in both India and Europe. In this context, India and the Netherlands have the intention to strengthen their cooperation in the field of mobility and migration.
  • The Netherlands hosts the second largest Indian diaspora in Europe. In this context, both Prime Ministers welcomed the strengthening of direct air connectivity between India and the Netherlands, which was set in motion after their last meeting and which will contribute to further deepening of people to people ties and business links. They also welcomed the growing number of Indian students and professionals in the Netherlands.
  • As a step towards forging deeper bonds, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of agreements on cooperation in the field of water management, culture and social security.
  • Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Rutte for his warm and gracious hospitality and invited him to visit India on a mutually convenient date.

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