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India, Netherlands set a road map for cooperation

PTI 05 Jun 2015, 17:52:20 IST

New Delhi: Indian and The Netherlands today decided to set up a joint working group on counter terrorism as the two countries set a road map for their cooperation in diverse fields, including infrastructure, investments, agriculture and renewable energy.

During talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart from The Netherlands Mark Rutte, which covered a wide range of issues, the visiting leader expressed support to the ambitious ‘Make in India' programme, including in the defence sector.

Modi also announced e-visa for tourists from The Netherlands. At a joint media interaction later, Modi described the talks as “comprehensive and productive” and said they discussed bilateral relations as well as global and regional issues of mutual interest.

He said a Joint Statement issued after the talks “outlines our road map for cooperation in priority sectors of mutual interest, including infrastructure development, shipping, ports and inland waterways, renewable energy, science and technology, health and sports.

“We have agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, which will hold its first meeting on June 19,” Modi said.

He said both the countries stand to benefit from closer bilateral and multilateral collaboration, including in areas such as countering terrorism and extremism, defence, maritime security and cyber security.

“Our two countries are bound by history and shared values. We have similar concerns like terrorism and common aspirations for a secure and stable world,” he added.

Rutte, while describing the two countries as close economic partners, said the trade between them now stands at 6 billion euros and growing everyday. “These are impressive numbers but we need to step up and do more and still there are many areas where we can work more closely,” he said. The two Prime Ministers were later joined by 35 business leaders from both sides for a working lunch.

Observing that the agreements reached today are closely aligned with India's economic priorities, Modi said Rutte expressed support for the ‘Make in India' Mission, including in the defence sector.

The Netherlands has emerged as an important platform for Indian companies in the European Union, which is one of India's largest markets. Its competitive and open business environment is also reflected from the fact that India is also the fifth largest source of investments in the Netherlands, Modi said.

“We have also agreed to leverage Dutch expertise in developing coastal roads and metro lines in India and set up a joint working group on skill development,” he said. India will also host a Dutch team to draw up a road map for collaboration in the National Clean Ganga Mission.

“I also conveyed our decision to include The Netherlands in India's Electronic Tourist Visa scheme. This will boost Dutch tourism in India and enhance our people-to-people ties,” Modi said.

He said agreement on manufacturing of dredgers in India at the Cochin Shipyard is a welcome step in India's efforts to develop Indian shipyards.

Similarly, the agreement on manufacturing of Measles, and Rubella Vaccine in India, with transfer of technology, represents yet another step to develop India's manufacturing sector, and improve healthcare.

Noting that India was partnering in developing joint pilot projects for an electric vehicle ecosystem in India, Modi said both the countries were setting up centres of excellence in areas like horticulture and animal husbandry, where the Duth side has a strong competence.

Rutte also supported India's bid for permanent membership of a reformed UN Security Council, for which Modi thanked him. “Prime Minister Rutte's decision to brave the Delhi heat to visit India also speaks of his commitment to this relationship,” Modi said.