The Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, on a two-day official visit to India, has called for deeper cooperation in areas of trade and investment, especially in clean energy, agriculture and food processing, cyber space, health care and smart cities.

Rutte, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bilateral talks on Thursday, approved the signing of three government-to-government agreements which included the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) which made the Netherlands the sixty-fourth signatory member country.

“I had called upon the Netherlands to join the International Solar Alliance and I am happy to tell you that the country has become a member of it today,” Modi said in his media statement following the meeting. The ISA, which was first proposed by Modi, is a platform for countries to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Prime Minister Rutte, who is leading the largest trade mission to the country, 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.

Modi and Rutte also welcomed the opening of a new Dutch Consulate General in Bengaluru.

Other MoUs

The other two G2G MoUs signed by Netherlands included one with the Government of Haryana, to support the State with the diversification of the agricultural sector, with a focus on horticultural crops, while the other made it a partner country for the Tech-Summit in 2019.

The private sector and institutions in both countries signed more than 40 agreements, including several in sectors such as water, agri-food & horticulture, hi-tech and IT and smart cities.

The Netherlands is India’s third largest export partner in Europe (after the UK and Germany), with exports worth $8.69 billion in 2017-18. The country is the fifth largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of $ 23 billion for the period 2000 to December 2017.

This is Rutte’s second visit to India as Prime Minister. His last visit to India was in June 2015. Modi visited the Netherlands in June 2017.

The Dutch PM will travel to Bangalore on Friday and is scheduled to visit ISRO and the Shell Technology Centre.

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