Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 24 May, held wide-ranging talks with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte during which both sides decided to deepen engagement in a range of areas including trade, investment, energy and agriculture.
In a statement following the talks, PM Modi said his commitment towards economic reforms will remain strong. He said besides bilateral matters, he and Rutte discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest. Modi also hailed the Netherlands for becoming part of the International Solar Alliance.
"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 (24 May)," Modi said.
In his comments, Rutte said there was a huge scope for the two countries to deepen cooperation in areas of trade and investment, clean energy, agriculture and smart cities
Rutte on Two-Day Visit
Rutte arrived in Delhi on Thursday, 24 May on a two-day visit to India. "India welcomes you Prime Minister Rutte. I look forward to our talks today," Modi had earlier tweeted in English and Dutch.
Rutte, who is on his second visit to India as prime minister, is accompanied by a business delegation. His last visit to India was in June 2015, following which PM Modi visited the Netherlands in June 2017.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted: "An important partner in our flagship initiatives! PM @narendramodi welcomed the PM of Netherlands, Mark Rutte at the Hyderabad House ahead of the bilateral talks. This is the second visit of @MinPres Rutte to India. Netherlands is the fourth largest investor in India in diverse sectors."
India and the Netherlands have a bilateral trade of $5.39 billion and they are likely to focus on increasing it further.
The Netherlands is the fifth largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of USD 23 billion from 2000 to Dec 2017. The country is also home to a 2,35,000-strong Indian diaspora, the largest in mainland Europe.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)
(This story has been updated to reflect the joint statement)