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Netherlands Foreign Trade Minister begins her India visit today

November 05
09:39 2014
Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation,  Ms Lilianne Ploumen

Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms Lilianne Ploumen

Netherlands offers investment and technology to build smart cities  

By TN Ashok / Diplomatic Editor

New Delhi, Nov 05 The Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation,  Ms Lilianne Ploumen, commences her India visit today leading a trade mission with over thirty companies and knowledge institutions that promise investment and technology for Modi initiated smart cities.

She is scheduled to have meetings with India’s Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, and Minister of Women and Child Development, Ms. Maneka Gandhi. 

The trade and investment mission marks the Minister’s second visit to India, this time she will meet her new Indian counterparts under the Modi government. The Minister is expected to offer Netherlands’ support to the developments and changes that are currently taking place under the new BJP led NDA administration.

The trade mission will focus on two different sectors: Agri-Food and Life Sciences and Health. “The Indian government intends to double its food production in the time to come. Many Dutch companies are willing to offer assistance in reaching this goal”, says Minister Ploumen. Within the realm of healthcare, India can also benefit from Dutch expertise in innovation and research.  

Indo-Dutch trade figures have touched over 5.8 billion Euros per annum. This has the potential to grow in the future. “India has great and ambitious plans to construct sea ports and smart cities. The Netherlands may collaborate with India in realizing these plans”.

The Netherlands is now the fifth largest investor in India.

Minister Ploumen will also meet with Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, a prominent children’s rights activist whose organization is supported by The  Netherlands. Minister Ploumen and Mr. Satyarthi will together attend the launch of a sanitation project, a collaboration between The Netherlands Technical University Delft and IIT Delhi.

These two universities have been working together for some time on innovative solutions regarding drinking water and sanitation management. In addressing these challenges, the project also aims to give girls better access to education as well as to lower early school leaving. Smart sanitation in smart villages furthermore addresses the worldwide challenge of rapid urbanization in the Global South.

The visit of Minister Ploumen will be finalized with a trade network session, in which both Indian and Dutch companies will participate. This will materialize into the signing of contracts. Upon the Minister’s return to The Netherlands, the trade mission will continue with a visit to Mumbai.

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