Speech Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen at signing ceremony MoU Maharashtra-Amsterdam and Fokker presentation

“This is what makes me happiest. We have long and frequent talks – and that is necessary, of course. But this is what we do it for: a concrete approach to solid waste management, urban planning and wastewater treatment. And the establishment of a Fokker plant in your state, bringing with it 800 jobs.”
 
Speech by Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen at the Signing Ceremony MoU Maharashtra-Amsterdam and Fokker presentation, 23 mei 2018

Chief Minister Fadnavis, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

This is what makes me happiest. We have long and frequent talks – and that is necessary, of course. But this is what we do it for: a concrete approach to solid waste management, urban planning and wastewater treatment. And the establishment of a Fokker plant in your state, bringing with it 800 jobs.

I’m proud to witness this moment. The moment when words become deeds. As a representative of the Dutch government, I support these developments wholeheartedly.

India is fast becoming a middle-income country. Its growth figures are the highest in the world, and Maharashtra is one of its most developed states. The new India is confident and ambitious. And that certainly applies to ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’!

An ambition that – especially in densely populated urban areas – ties in with Smart Cities.
Cities with new roads and good public transport. With water and electricity 24 hours a day.
For sustainable and healthy metropolitan regions and cities, good waste management is essential.

Back in 2013, India and the Netherlands signed an MoU on cooperation in the field of spatial planning, water management and mobility management. A lot has happened since then. We paid visits to each other’s countries, hosted seminars and learnt from each other’s approach. Various Dutch companies are now busy helping to shape the Smart Cities concept in your country. Like Royal HaskoningDHV, KPMG, Ecorys, ARS and TomTom, to mention a few.

Signing an MoU helps. It gives a big boost to establishing a reciprocal business relationship.

We just witnessed the signing of an MoU between the state of Maharashtra and the city of Amsterdam. And while we were having our bilateral meeting, Chief Minister, experts from Amsterdam and Maharashtra were holding a technical workshop next door. On issues related to waste-to-energy: technical, financial, governance and tendering. I’d like to extend a welcome to those participants, who have joined us here for the signing ceremony.

Amsterdam’s ambition is to achieve an integrated approach to water, waste and spatial planning. The Chief Minister and I just had a good talk on the subject. I’d like to share that, in Amsterdam’s experience, waste-to-energy is an important – but not final – step in the transition to a circular economy. It’s important to go on from there: to waste recycling and prevention. I’m confident that the partnership between your state and Amsterdam will progress to those stages too. And I’m sure this is the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship for sharing best practices and technology.

Which brings me to Fokker.
Anthony Fokker was a Dutch aviation pioneer. The company he founded exactly one century ago has a distinguished history. It’s now a big supplier for Boeing and Airbus. And it’s opening a second base in India! We just heard all about it.

800 new jobs in Pune. And the recruitment of staff, most of them women, is about to begin. The nice thing about this business is that the work is labour-intensive. With only a relatively small investment, Fokker is creating a great many jobs. India’s economy will benefit, as will its people.

And it aligns perfectly with the Indian government’s Make in India initiative. As well as with your own ambitious efforts, Chief Minister, to transform Maharashtra into a trillion dollar economy by 2025. Indeed, this was the main theme of the very successful Magnetic Maharashtra event you organised earlier this year. I’m confident that Fokker’s investment in Pune will play a major role in strengthening Maharashtra’s position as one of India’s main manufacturing bases.

Chief Minister, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I’m delighted that this afternoon we’ve been able to witness two initiatives that will benefit both our countries. In fact, to quote the slogan of the Netherlands’ diplomatic network here in India: ‘Whatever I can do, we can do better’.

Meh aapko sjoebkaamenai detie hoe  (I wish you all every success!).
Thank you.