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India-Netherlands Joint Statement during visit of Prime Minister of Netherlands to India (May 24, 2018)

May 24, 2018

  • At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mr. Mark Rutte paid an Official Visit to India on 24-25 May 2018. The two Leaders held wide ranging and constructive discussions on a wide variety of regional and international issues.They underlined the growing convergence between the two countries and agreed to deepen and strengthen the longstanding historical bonds of friendship between the two peoples spanning over four centuries.
  • Prime Minister Rutte was accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Minister for Healthcare and Sport, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, and the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, the mayor of the city of The Hague and a large trade mission. The Leaders called for expansion of ongoing collaboration in the fields of agriculture and food processing, water, technology, smart city development, cyber space, health care, clean energy and finance. The Leaders also welcomed the opening of a new Dutch Consulate General in Bengaluru.
  • Both Leaders shared the view that the world is rapidly transforming and is confronted with new challenges which require commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders. Not only is there a need to ensure that globalization is open and fair, but also for all like-minded countries to come together to tackle with issues such as poverty, hunger, job creation, energy security, human rights, gender inequality, climate change, terrorism, and the depletion of natural resources.
  • The two Leaders recognized that the ongoing transformation needs to be shaped by appropriate policies and institutions, guided by responsible leadership and rules based international order. The Leaders called for the need to reinvigorate global economic growth, and achieve higher and more sustainable growth rates accompanied by improved income and wealth distribution so as to reduce social exclusion, involuntary migration, and unemployment, particularly among the youth.

    S&T and Health Cooperation

  • The Leaders recalled their previous meetings in Delhi and The Hague in 2015 and 2017 respectively. They appreciated the ongoing expansion in Indo-Dutch economic engagement, many of which are focused on the multiple transformative initiatives of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
  • The Leaders commended the 10th anniversary of the Indo-Dutch collaboration in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). They appreciated the increased focus on public private partnerships, and the linking of ecosystems to help drive innovation. With a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach the cooperation is aimed at addressing common societal challenges and open new markets in areas such as water, health, agriculture, and high-tech systems and IT. India also welcomed the Netherlands as the Partner Country for the TechSummit in 2019.
  • The two Leaders acknowledged the successful bilateral research cooperation between India’s Department of Science and Technology, Department of Bio-technology and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology with the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). They recommended the organizations to structure their cooperation in sectors such as affordable medical devices, urban water systems, Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT).
  • The two Leaders discussed the importance of collaboration in the global fight against Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and commended the joint efforts made by the relevant health departments and agencies of thetwo countries in identifying areas of cooperation under India’s National Action Plan on AMR. The Leaders alsotook note of the selection of Krishna District in the state of Andhra Pradesh for the implementation of a Pilot Project using the ‘One Health’ approach under the Indo-Dutch collaboration on AMR.
  • Both countries expressed a desire to explore closer partnership to leverage emerging digital technologies to increase transparency and trust for societal benefits and to enhance security in digital applications across sectors of mutual focus.
  • The Leaders called for further collaboration between the nations in the space sector andunderlined the importance of space technology as an area of focus for finding solutions to deal with challenges in areas such as food security and climate change.

    Cooperation in the fields of Water, Agriculture and Urban Development

  • Innovation, technology and governance being key-ingredients in Indo-Dutch water cooperation, the respective institutions of the two countries have joined hands in several projects including a waste2wealth approach to solid waste and waste water in the Hindon Basin; in assisting leather industries in Kanpur and Unnao to adopt eco-friendly technologies; and in conservation of water through efficient agriculture practices in the sugarcane industry of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Both sides agreed to intensify their resolve to enhance cooperation under the aegis of the MoU in the field of water management signed in June 2017 with focus on the Clean Ganga campaign. The Indian side appreciated the capacity building programs provided to Indian officials in the field of water resources management by the Netherlands based water institutes - Deltares and IHE Delft. The Leaders also commended the Indo-Dutch Research Call on the theme, "Water in the City” as well as the continuous exchange of information on river modelling, use of satellite data for air quality purposes and the re-use of sludge contributing to a transition towards a circular economy.
  • The Leaders welcomed the intensifying of Indo-Dutch collaboration in the field of agriculture. They commended the successful operationalization of the first Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Vegetables in Baramati, Maharashtra. The Leaders called for early completion of works in the remaining CoEs.
  • India appreciated and welcomed the Dutch desire to further strengthen cooperation in boosting productivity of apples; manufacturing food processing equipment; breeding high-yielding vegetable seeds; providing capacity building and training to dairy farmers; cooperating in the areas of bovine genetics and food safety; and supporting sustainable and climate resilient agriculture to mitigate water shortages and end the practice of stubble burning.
  • The Indian side invited the Dutch side to explore the feasibility of assisting in setting up Food Valleys and invest in cold chain as well as food processing facilities and undertake capacity building programs in India.
  • Both sides have noted the finalization of a concrete joint action plan under the MoU on Technical Cooperation in the Field of Spatial Planning, Water Management and Mobility Management with focus on smart city development. The Leaders noted with satisfaction the MoU signed between the State of Maharashtra and the City of Amsterdam in the area of sustainable urban development, including waste2energy.

    Security cooperation

  • As thriving democracies, India and the Netherlands, share a desire to work closely together and with all relevant players to support a rules-based international order that upholds agreed international norms, global peace and stability, and encourages inclusive growth and sustainable development in all parts of the inter-connected and multipolar world. The Leaders confirmed their commitment towards conflict prevention and sustaining peace as fundamental aspects of promoting security and prosperity, fostering non-proliferation and disarmament, and agreed on the need for the global community to address the menace of terrorism and safeguard the security of the global commons – sea lanes, cyber space and outer space.
  • The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening disarmament and global non-proliferation efforts. The Netherlands congratulated India’s accession to the MTCR, Wassenaar arrangement and the Australia Group. In order to further strengthen global non-proliferation, the Netherlands reaffirmed its strong support to building consensus among regimes’ members on the issue of India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group; recognizing that India’s accession will add value to the aims and objectives of these regimes.
  • The two Leaders reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Both Leaders also affirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever it may be and should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality or ethnicity. They also called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists including foreign fighters.
  • The Leaders agreed that terrorist and extremist organisations need to be denied space to radicalise, recruit, and conduct attacks on innocent people. They deplored the violence caused by Al Qaeda, Daesh/ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammed, HizbulMujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayabba, and their affiliates as well as terrorist groups threatening peace and security in South Asia and Europe.
  • The Leaders also called for an early conclusion of negotiations and the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations, as an instrument for a global alliance of nations against terrorism which would reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism.
  • Both sides agreed to deepen and enhance the scope of the ongoing bilateral dialogues on security issues and to hold the next round of counter terrorism dialogue in The Hague in the second-half of 2018.
  • The two sides also agreed to hold the bilateral cyber dialogue in 2018 with the intention to discuss issues including internet governance, and data protection, cyber security policy and Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) cooperation and international capacity building. The Leaders welcomed the deepening of cooperation on cyber-security through the signing of a MoU between The Hague Security Delta and Hyderabad Security Cluster, India’s first Cyber Security Cluster. They noted with appreciation the launch by the Government of Karnataka of a Centre of Excellence, in which The Hague Security Delta will be an international partner.
  • Reflecting the growing strategic trust between the two countries, the Leaders noted the progress made by the two sides in finalizing the text on the Agreement on Mutual Protection of Classified Information in the field of Defence.

    Economy, Trade & Investment, and Connectivity

  • The Leaders also called for responsible and calibrated monetary, fiscal and social security policies to improve the global economic and financial governance architecture, reduce excessive global imbalances, and promote inclusive growth. They underlined the role of entrepreneurship, innovation and connectivity as the drivers of growth and called for investments in physical, digital and social infrastructure to enable the current and future generations to have a purposeful life.
  • The Leaders acknowledged the role of the private sector in boosting trade and investment relations and underlined the opportunities for intensive Indo-Dutch collaborations under Government of India’s flagship initiatives such as Make in India and StartUp India. Highlighting the role of youth in enhancing future collaboration in innovation and startups, the Leaders welcomed the launch of the StartUpLink initiative by Invest India and the Netherlands Embassy in Delhi. The initiative seeks to provide startups easy access to mentorship, partners, tools, services and key information for success in India and the Netherlands.
  • The Leaders reaffirmed the crucial role of the rules-based multilateral trading system, and the importance of enhancing free, fair, and open trade for achieving sustainable growth and development. They reaffirmed their commitment to work together with all members of the WTO, which would reaffirm the centrality of the rules-based multilateral trading system and its importance for open and inclusive global trade. The Leaders welcomed the holding of the Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting in New Delhi on 19-20 March 2018, which provided an opportunity for WTO member countries to engage in free and frank discussions on several issues.
  • The Leaders reaffirmed their support for the strategic partnership between the European Union and India, based on shared principles and values, as well as a commitment to a rules-based international order. They agreed that India and the EU should deepen their cooperation on multilateral and security issues, as well as on economic, trade and climate change issues and welcomed the outcome of the 14th EU-India summit held in New Delhi on 6th October 2017. They expressed support to the efforts of both sides to re-engage actively towards timely relaunching of negotiations for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) and agreed to explore opportunities for further cooperation that will be generated by the next EU-India Summit.
  • India and the Netherlands acknowledged the importance of connectivity in today’s globalised world. They underlined that connectivity initiatives must be based on key principles of international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency; follow social and environmental standards, principles of financial responsibility, accountable debt-financing practices; and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • The Leaders underlined the importance of stepping-up connectivity between both countries by the sea route. They agreed that the untapped potential for direct port-to-port contacts as well as cooperation in the area of port infrastructure development and shipping should be further explored.
  • With growing India-EU trade, the Leaders underlined the significant role that Netherlands can play as India’s ‘Gateway to Europe’. India is the 5th largest source of FDI into the Netherlands and the Netherlands is the 4th largest source of FDI for India. Both sides also agreed to consider putting in place a reciprocal Fast Track Mechanism to resolve issues confronted by businesses and to promote greater two-way bilateral investments.

    Climate Change

  • The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to combat climate change, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement. They committed to fully implement the Agreement under the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a part of an irreversible global process at combating climate change for the benefit of all humanity.
  • Both sides noted that addressing climate change and promoting secure, affordable and sustainable supplies of energy are key shared priorities, and agreed to undertake mutual cooperation for reducing the cost of development and deployment of clean energy projects through technology innovation, knowledge sharing, capacity building, trade and investment, and project establishment.
  • India welcomed the signing of the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance by the Netherlands. The two Prime Ministers urged research institutions and industry to collaborate, including in third countries, to promote greater use of solar technologies through the International Solar Alliance that will also benefit the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    People-to-People exchanges, Culture, Education and Training

  • 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. The Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the number of daily direct flights between the two countries has risen from 1 in 2015 to 5 today; largely owing to the partnership between KLM and Jet Airways. They also agreed that a liberal visa regime is in the interest of promoting greater people-to-people contacts and forging stronger business links.
  • Both sides acknowledged the importance of our shared cultural heritage, and confirmed commitment to cooperate in this field. They welcomed the initiative of the Dutch Rijksmuseum to explore the organization of an exhibition in India.
  • The Leaders also welcomed the growing number of Indian students and professionals in the Netherlands. They welcomed the PhD fellowship programs supported by India’s Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) at the University of Maastricht, Technical University of Delft, Erasmus University Medical Center, VrijeUniversiteit, and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands.
  • They also welcomed the signing of a MoU between the Foreign Service Institutes of the two countries. The MoU will provide for exchange of information of structure and content of training programmes for diplomats; identification of experts in mutually decided areas; and promote contacts and exchange of diplomats, faculty members and experts.
  • Prime Minister Mark Rutte thanked Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the Government of India for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation. He also looked forward to welcoming him in the Netherlands.

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