The India-Netherlands Fast-Track Mechanism would enable quicker settlement of investment cases for Dutch businesses doing business in India as both nations work to enhance their investment corridor. The bilateral Fast-Track Mechanism (FTM) between India and the Netherlands was formally agreed upon on September 27 by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPII) and The Embassy of The Kingdom of The Netherlands. The bilateral FTM will be carried out by India's national investment promotion and facilitation agency, Invest India. The FTM plans to boost bilateral investment exchanges and foster economic ties between businesses in the two nations. The Netherlands has the fifth-largest economy in the European Union (EU), whereas India has the fifth-largest economy globally. Several Dutch businesses have been active in India for over a century, demonstrating the two countries' robust economic ties.
Bilateral trade between India and the Netherlands amounted to US$17 billion in the financial year 2021-22 (FY 22), up from US$13 billion the previous year.
In FY 2020-21 (FY 21), India's exports to the Netherlands amounted to US$8.85 billion, imports stood at US$4.1 billion, and the Netherlands was India's third largest trading partner in Europe that year. In FY 22, the Netherlands was India's fifth largest export destination, a leap from its 10th position just the year prior as Indian exports jumped 94 percent. Indian exports to the Netherlands surpassed that to Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and Germany as the Dutch market became India's largest export destination in the EU. Mineral fuels and products derived from minerals, organic chemicals, electrical gear and equipment, aluminum, iron, steel, and pharmaceuticals were India's top exports to the Netherlands in FY 2021–2022. One of the significant countries in India's top 20 trade partners, the Netherlands, has an $8 billion trade surplus with India. In FY 22, India purchased goods from the Netherlands worth US$4.5 billion, including crude soybean oil, waste and scrap stainless steel, aluminum scrap, nickel, and aircraft engine components.
As of 2022, the Netherlands is India's fourth most significant foreign direct investment (FDI) source, moving up from being the fifth largest investor in FY 2020-21 with inflows of US$2.8 billion that year.
The significant areas of collaboration between India and the Netherlands are agriculture, health, port and shipping, science and technology, higher education, and urban development. Given that the Netherlands is a leader in water management in addition to science and R&D, both countries are attempting to establish strategic alliances in this area.
The presence of Dutch companies is noted in various sectors across India's major cities, including Delhi (agriculture and food, energy, life sciences & health, smart cities, startups, and water), Mumbai (agriculture and food, fuel, life sciences & health, creative industries, logistics, and high-tech system & materials), Bengaluru (agriculture and food, life sciences & health, startups, water, and high-tech design & materials), Hyderabad (agriculture and food, life sciences & health, logistics, startups, and high-tech system & materials), and Ahmedabad (agriculture and food, energy, logistics, smart cities, and high-tech system & materials).
Investing in Sustainable Development Areas
Over the last five years, Dutch companies, particularly SMEs and startups, have harnessed UN Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 13 (Climate Action) – to set up operations and launch business partnerships in India.
Some of the leading Dutch companies working on UNSDG-linked areas and present in India are Rural Spark Energy Pvt. Ltd. and TomTom India Pvt. Ltd, LiteVax B.V., De Heus India Pvt. Ltd., Paques Environmental Technology India Pvt. Ltd., SweepSmart Waste Management Pvt. Ltd., and Tiny Miracles.
High-Level visits to Promote Trade and Investment
In 2017, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to the Netherlands to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. During the visit, a high-level CEOs roundtable also happened. Over 130 Dutch companies and institutions and close to 200 trade representatives visited India from May 24 to 25, 2018, along with a high-level group led by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
The largest-ever Dutch trade delegation to India, consisting of over 140 Dutch companies/institutions and close to 250 business leaders, accompanied Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima on their 14–18 October 2019 state visit to India. The delegation's primary focus areas were the water, agri-food, healthcare, technology, and maritime sectors. The delegation traveled to Kochi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and New Delhi.
Stef Blok, Dutch Foreign Minister; Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development; Bruno Bruins, Minister for Health, Welfare, and Sport; Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, accompanied the delegation along with Ineke Dezentje Hamming-Bluemink, Chairman of FME, the largest industrial employers and business organization in the Netherlands. 51 MoUs and agreements were signed between Dutch and Indian partners during the visit. The Netherlands was India's partner country for the Technology Summit in New Delhi, which took place from 15-16 October 2019.
From February 8-12, 2021, Ms. Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, led a Dutch virtual trade mission to India. The three focus areas of the trade delegation included Water, Food waste, and energy.
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