Netherlands proves to be gateway for Indian exports to Europe: Envoy

The Netherlands has become the fourth popular destination for Indian exports. The Dutch port of Rotterdam plays an important role in promoting Indian trade to Europe and the country is proving to be New Delhi’s gateway for exports to the continent. Make in India can help Dutch companies invest in India and a good example is the collaboration between Dutch shipbuilder Royal IHC and Cochin Shipyard Limited, Dutch envoy to India Marten van den Berg told Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury of AND.

The Netherlands has become the fourth popular destination for Indian exports. What are the contributing factors behind this?

The Netherlands has always been a very open economy with an excellent logistics infrastructure. Our port of Rotterdam is the largest and most efficient port in Europe. Therefore, not only Indian exports to the Netherlands, but also many Indian exports to Germany, France and Belgium enter through the Netherlands. India is doing very well with trade, it recorded the highest exports ever in 2022.

A significant portion of Indian exports was fuel. Rotterdam, being a key port for fuel imports, was a natural export destination for Indian fuel exports to the EU. But a high level of commodity exports also contributed to the rise. Due to the excellent connections with the hinterland, the Netherlands is a gateway to Europe and therefore an important destination for exports to Europe of raw materials, such as Indian raw materials.

What are the Netherlands’ plans to increase their investments in India under the Make in India initiative?

For us, the Make in India initiative is a policy to better connect India to global supply chains. We help Dutch companies looking to diversify their supply chains look to opportunities in India. We do this in close consultation with Invest India.

Invest India is an excellent partner for foreign investors in India. Make in India can help Dutch companies to invest in India. A good example is the collaboration between our Dutch shipbuilder Royal IHC with

Limit. As part of the Make in India initiative, they will build dredges for DCI to meet India’s growing demand for dredging services.

What are the plans of the Netherlands to become the gateway for Indian exports and investments in Western and Northern Europe due to its port advantage. Is there a collaboration plan in the maritime sector?
We connect nearly half a billion consumers in the European hinterland to global producers. The Netherlands has a world-class port, a major airport in Amsterdam, an extensive network of waterways, a strong road transport sector and a network of rail infrastructure. We provide the best infrastructure facilities, but ultimately it is up to the private sector to decide where to invest.

We strongly believe in a market-driven process. Due to our strong economy, many foreign companies invest in the Netherlands. More than 200 Indian companies are also present in the Netherlands. Companies like

, HCL, , , . Not only because of the infrastructure, but also because of our high-tech private sector, our strong institutions and our skilled workforce.

We see many Indian companies using the Netherlands as a hub in Europe and we welcome Indian companies very much. It’s also great to see that Indians feel at home in the Netherlands. English is our second language, there are lots of Indian restaurants, we play cricket, but not as well as in India and there is very good connectivity between Amsterdam airport and several Indian cities.

How would you characterize the Indian President’s visit to the Netherlands and the visit of your Foreign Minister to India?

Extremely positive. It was the first state visit after Covid19, so everyone in the Netherlands was very excited. There was a very warm welcome from our Royal Family and our Prime Minister. There was a strong commitment from the whole Dutch cabinet. We celebrated 75 years of diplomatic relations and friendship. During the visit, the Indian President named a new breed of tulip called Maitri, as a symbol of the special and long-standing friendship between India and the Netherlands.

It was the first visit by an Indian head of state to the Netherlands in more than three decades. India and the Netherlands have a natural partnership and there are many synergies in our relationship. We are both democracies, we value rule-based systems and a multifaceted society. Both of our economies are market-driven and innovation-driven. We work closely on water, agriculture, climate and health.

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