Visit of the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Mr. Bert Koenders to India (May 6-9, 2017)

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Press Release by the Ministry of External Affairs on the Meeting of External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj with the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Mr. Bert Koenders

May 09, 2017

External Affairs Minister held official talks with H.E. Mr. Bert Koenders, Foreign Minister of The Netherlands, today. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the upswing in bilateral relations in recent years. They also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. 

Economic ties between India and The Netherlands form the core of the bilateral relationship. External Affairs Minister appreciated the active participation of Dutch companies in India’s flagship development programs including Swachh Bharat, Namami Gange and Make in India. The Ministers welcomed the ongoing efforts to enhance bilateral collaboration in water and waste management, renewable energy, Smart Cities, inland waterways, ports and shipping. Netherlands is India's 5th largest investment partner with an investment of US$ 20.5 billion. The two Ministers expressed satisfaction at the positive growth in bilateral trade which stood at US$ 6.3 billion in 2016, and agreed that it has potential to develop further.

Minister Sushma Swaraj thanked The Netherlands for supporting India’s accession to the various multilateral export control regimes including the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The Dutch Minister expressed strong support for India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council. He appreciated the lead taken by India in addressing Climate Change through the International Solar Alliance [ISA] initiative and expressed support for the programme, and pointed out the strength of the Netherlands in wind energy.

The two leaders expressed deep concerns on the grave threat posed by terrorism to international peace and security and reaffirmed to work both bilaterally and globally to fight the menace in all its forms and manifestations. Minister Sushma Swaraj sought the support of The Netherlands for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism [CCIT] at the UN.

The Netherlands hosts the second largest numbers of people of Indian-origin in Europe. In this context, both the Ministers welcomed the strengthening of direct air connectivity between India and the Netherlands which would contribute to further deepening of people to people ties and business links. 

In the context of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Minister Sushma Swaraj appreciated the ongoing joint project LOTUS [Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Re-use] to clean-up the Barapullah drain in Delhi and the DIWALI [Dutch-Indo Water Alliance Leadership Initiative] waste water project in Baroda. Later in the day, the Dutch Foreign Minister participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony of a demonstration plant to be set up for cleaning the Barapullah drain.

Foreign Minister Koenders also visited Cochin and Bengaluru during the visit. The two countries are celebrating 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year. During the visit, Minister Koenders announced the opening of the Consulate General of The Netherlands in Bengaluru later this year. 

New Delhi

May 09, 2017

News Reports in Indian Newspapers:

  1. Sushma Swaraj meets Dutch Foreign Minister – Indian Express

  1. India, Netherlands to boost anti-terror effort – Indian Express

  1. Netherlands could serve as gateway to EU market for India: Dutch minister – Deccan Chronicle

  1. India, Netherlands resolve to enhance anti-terror cooperation – Outlook India

  1. Work Starts on Cleaning the Barapullah Drain under the Project “LOcal Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse) (LOTUS HR) – PIB

  1. Work starts on cleaning the Barapullah Drain in Delhi – Times of India

  1. Work begins to clean up south Delhi’s Barapullah drain – The Hindustan Times

  1. Vardhan inaugurates pilot treatment plant for Barapullah drain – DNA

  1. Work Starts on Cleaning the Barapullah Drain

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