Trade mission led by the Netherlands Minister for Infrastructure & Water Management opens a door in Maharashtra for the Dutch water, ports & infrastructure sector

Today, on the first day of one of the biggest Dutch trade missions to India, Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen opened the Indo-Dutch Forum on Smart and Sustainable Port-led Development in Mumbai. At this event, representatives from Indian governments and businesses presented their plans for the  ports and logistics network in India. Dutch companies from the maritime and logistics sectors reciprocated by sharing their  complementing ideas for boosting the competitiveness and sustainability of ports and shipping. Overall, the mission paved the way for future possibilities of working together to create innovative solutions in the sector, while strengthening existing ties. The Minister also witnessed the signing of agreements concluded between companies and governments from the Netherlands and India.

‘India features a long coastline and an extensive river network that holds a great many opportunities for the logistics sector. In large sections of India, goods transport by water can be an ideal alternative to transport by busy roads,’ Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen pointed out in her opening address. She also mentioned, ‘Dutch companies are eager to assist the Indian government in realising its ambition of modernising the ports and improving waterway connections to the hinterland. Dutch maritime and logistics expertise has demonstrated its successful contributions in this respect.’

Dutch companies have been active in the port of Mumbai for ages. On board the Boskalis dredger, the Minister got a chance to see how Dutch companies are operating in that sector in Mumbai. In 2017, the Boskalis dredging company was commissioned to widen and deepen the port access canal. In 1997, the Van Oord dredging company opened their India office in Mumbai; and the company takes care of regular dredging operations in the port itself.

Agreements

Together with Union Minister of State for Shipping & Transport Shri. Mansukh Mandaviya, Dutch Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen attended the signing of the certain agreements.

The Indian online logistic company Cogoport announced that it will be establishing  the first digital freight corridor of the world to enable Indian traders to connect to the European market using Netherlands as gateway. During the forum, the company signed a letter of intent in the presence of the Ministers, and with people from the City and Port of Rotterdam and other industry leaders present.  Port of Amsterdam  also announced that it is competing for the operations of the Mumbai cruise terminal jointly with JM Baxi.

The municipality of Amsterdam also concluded an MoU during the conference. The Dutch capital will be collaborating with the State of Maharashtra in the fields of urban planning, waste management, waste processing, and water management. The proposed cooperation and MoU between Amsterdam and Maharashtra will focus on Urban Planning, Waste and Water Management. The cooperation fits within the objectives set out by both national governments to strengthen the ties between both countries in the field of sustainable development.

The company GKN Fokker Elmo announced that it is also discussing plans for a manufacturing facility for wiring systems in Pune, Maharashtra. The meeting for this took place alongside the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure & Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dr. Ranjit Patil, Minister of State, Home (Urban), Urban Development, Law & Judiciary & Parliamentary Affairs & Mr. Gajanan Patil from Maharashtra Industrial Development Cooperation.

Cabinet – Wide Trade Mission

On 24 and 25 May, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen and Prime Minister Rutte, among others, will be in the Indian capital of Delhi to discuss the Dutch efforts in respect of the National Mission for Clean Ganga. Cleaning up the River Ganges is one of the spearhead initiatives of President Modi. At a conference, the Dutch officials will highlight the solutions developed by Dutch partners to combat river pollution, to purify the water, and reuse river waste. The Minister will also meet with representatives from the state of Uttar Pradesh to discuss the option of converting waste to energy and subsequently selling this energy to local governments and paper factories. This will result in a cleaner and safer living environment for the local population, who use the Ganges for drinking water and for irrigating their crops. In addition to clean water, the Minister’s visit to Delhi will also focus on the improvement of air quality, for example, by introducing cleaner vehicles, and on the use of satellite data from, inter alia, the Dutch space instrument Tropomi. To this end, several new agreements will be set down with businesses, research institutes, and governments.