Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that the Netherlands is a natural partner in India’s economic development and thanked the key European nation for backing India’s Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) membership. “The world is inter-dependant and inter-connected. We would discuss both bilateral issues and those concerning the world,” Prime Minister Modi said ahead of talks with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte. “Ties between India and the Netherlands are very old. Our bilateral relations are very strong,” he said. He said that relations between India and the Netherlands are century old and the two countries will keep on moving towards stronger ties. Thanking the key European nation for backing India’s MTCR membership, he said, “Because of your support India got the membership of the MTCR.” India joined the MTCR as a full member last year. MTCR membership enables India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhances its joint ventures with Russia.
The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogramme payload for at least 300 kilometres, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Modi said the Netherlands is the 5th largest investment partner globally and in the last three years it has emerged as the 3rd largest source of FDI for the country. In the joint address, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte said India’s emergence as a global power is a “welcome development from both political and economic point of views.” “Political because of the values we share with respect of rule of laws and security,” he said. He commended India for its commitment to renewal energy and to the Paris climate agreement. He praised Modi for announcing major sustainable initiatives like ‘Clean India’ and ‘Make in India’.
“The Netherlands is a key partner to help India achieve its goals,” he said. “India is now a global economic power. It is world’s second biggest economy and Indian market has a lot of potential. We have a plenty to offer to India too,” he said. He said Europe is India’s biggest trading partner and 20 per cent of India’s export to Europe enters through the Netherlands. “So, for India, we are an entry (point) to Europe,” he said. The Dutch premier said the ties is only expected to grow in coming years. “Today we are giving fresh impetus to ties by easing the flow of capital in both directions. I believe this is one of the many ways to boost ties in the next 70 years and beyond,” he said.
This year, the two countries are celebrating 70 years of the establishment of Indo-Dutch diplomatic relations.