Broad government delegation on trade mission to India
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen and Minister for Healthcare and Sport Bruno Bruins will travel to India from 23 to 25 May on a working visit and trade mission. The trade mission - with 131 businesses taking part - will be headed by Hans de Boer, president of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW).
On 24 May Mr Rutte will meet with the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in Delhi to discuss the strategic relationship between the Netherlands and India and the scope for deepening political and economic cooperation. Mr Rutte will also ratify Dutch membership of the International Solar Alliance and attend events with a focus on solutions to the challenges currently facing Indian cities, such as providing clean drinking water and reducing air pollution. At the invitation of the Carnegie India think tank, Mr Rutte will give a keynote speech about the strategic importance of cooperation between India and Europe. At a trade dinner, at which the entire Dutch trade delegation, representatives of Indian businesses and all the ministers on the trade mission will be present, dozens of MoUs will be signed by Dutch and Indian companies and knowledge institutions.
On 25 May the trade mission will head to Bangalore for a visit to the Shell Technology Centre and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The programme will also include demonstrations of innovative healthcare, agriculture, climate and high-tech projects carried out by Dutch and Indian researchers.
Programme of the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
In India, food security is not a given. Almost 200 million people live in poverty - 15% of India's 1.4 billion-strong population. India is home to a quarter of the world's malnourished. Food security and combating malnutrition will therefore be key themes on Ms Schouten's visit to India. The Netherlands is regarded as an important partner for modernising agriculture and food processing. This aligns with Dutch policy, which focuses mainly on exporting knowledge and technology.
Programme of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
Ms Kaag will begin her visit on Wednesday in Mumbai. She will take part in a roundtable meeting with the CEOs of several large Indian and Dutch companies to discuss how they can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. She will also visit the Reserve Bank of India. On Thursday the minister will be in Delhi, where she will give an opening speech at the Indo-Dutch Sustainability Forum (INDUS). She will also be present at the launch of the Clean Air India Ring. On Friday Ms Kaag will be in Bangalore, where her programme will focus on smart cities, high-tech and IT.
Programme of the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management
On 23 May Ms Van Nieuwenhuizen will open the Indo-Dutch Forum on Smart and Sustainable Port-led Development in Mumbai. At this event Dutch and Indian businesses from the maritime and logistics sectors will share ways of making ports and the shipping industry more competitive and sustainable. The minister will also be present at the signing of a number of deals for Indian projects by Dutch ports. On board a dredger she will be shown how Dutch businesses are giving the port of Mumbai a facelift. Ms Van Nieuwenhuizen will also speak with the chief minister of the state of Maharashtra.
On 24 and 25 May Ms Van Nieuwenhuizen will be in Delhi, where she will highlight the Dutch commitment to the National Mission for Clean Ganga. Making the river Ganges cleaner is one of Mr Modi's priorities. Methods used by Dutch partners to reduce river pollution, clean the water and reuse waste removed from the river will be discussed at a special Ganges conference. Several new agreements will also be signed in this connection.
Programme of the Minister for Healthcare and Sport
Mr Bruins will begin the trade mission on 23 May in Delhi. He will be accompanied by representatives of 28 businesses from the Life Science & Health sector on a number of visits aimed at stimulating cooperation on research, promoting trade relations and boosting the number of business-to-business contacts.
Mr Bruins will also meet with several Indian ministers. On 23 May he will speak with Shrimati Anupriya Patel, Minister of State at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, about further cooperation between the Netherlands and India in the field of healthcare and welfare. Their discussion will focus on the affordability of medicines and on agreeing a joint approach to antimicrobial resistance. Later in the day Mr Bruins will meet with sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to discuss possible cooperation on football, field hockey and the sports innovations developed in the Netherlands.
Programme of the VNO-NCW president
VNO-NCW president Hans de Boer will be accompanied by representatives of over 130 businesses and knowledge institutions from the sectors water, logistics and maritime services, agri-food, horticulture, high-tech ad IT, life sciences and health, and smart cities. A specially tailored programme has been devised for each sector, involving visits by the delegates and ministers to various cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. On Thursday 24 May VNO-NCW will host a CEO roundtable meeting for Dutch and Indian businesses and Prime Minister Modi.