Dutch IT cos eyeing India

Written by Economy Bureau | Kolkata, Aug 26 | Updated: Aug 27 2008, 06:30am hrs
Dutch IT companies are looking for tieups with their Indian counterparts to ensure that they do not lose out in the European services market with Indian IT-based services getting more access there once the Indo-European Union (EU) free trade agreement is in place.

Jeroen Roodenburg, deputy head of mission in the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in India, said here at a Ficci organised programme that small Dutch IT companies are eager to tie up with big Indian IT firms to develop more innovative software.

The Netherlands, which has the world's highest rate of broadband penetration, is also the fourth largest exporter of IT services across the globe with command mostly in the EU market.

According to the EU officials, while India wants the EU to open its service sector-mostly IT-related services--the EU wants more access for its goods and investment in the Indian market. If the EU has to finally open its door for India, the Netherlands' share in IT-related services in the European market is bound to erode. The Dutch IT companies' tying up with Indian IT firms will help maintain the market share to some extent.

Roodenburg said IT contributes 5% to the Netherlands' GDP. Indian IT giants like Wipro, TCS and Infosys are already operating from Amsterdam under the Netherlands-India bilateral relationship.

But before the FTA, all the bilaterals will have to come under the control at the EU level. The 27-member EU is yet to have a common policy for services and investment, on which the FTA is focused.

Before all the bilaterals come under the control at the EU level, the Netherlands is keen on new models of business collaboration with India.

The Netherlands, the gateway to Europe, has identified IT, agro industry, logistics & infrastructure and water management as focus sectors for collaboration. The country will be looking to match Indian partners during the Netherlands-India Business Meet-2008 scheduled on November 20 and 21.