11th India-Netherlands Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) held today

The 11th India-Netherlands Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) were held on 19 December 2022 in New Delhi. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs and the Dutch side was led by Mr. Paul Huijts, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Last FOC was held in November 2021 in the Hague.

​ India and the Netherlands share a strong bilateral relationship marked by regular exchanges at both political and official levels. This year the two countries are celebrating 75 years of the establishment of diplomatic relationship. To commemorate the milestone, the President of India paid a State visit to the Netherlands on 04-07 April 2022. H.M. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visited India in August this year in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and G20 GPFI Honorary Patron. These visits were preceded by the successful Virtual Summit held in April 2021 between Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Mark Rutte when the Strategic Partnership on Water was launched.

The FOC provided an opportunity to review the progress made in the bilateral ties in the last one year despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-pandemic. Both sides discussed the way forward in crucial sectors such as Water, Agriculture, Health (WAH agenda), S&T, climate innovation and renewable technologies. Netherlands has emerged as India’s 3rd biggest export partner in Europe and both sides looked forward to the inaugural Joint Trade and Investment Committee Meeting next year to further intensify trade ties. Both sides also agreed to institute a Policy Planning Dialogue which would help scan the horizon for potential future collaborations.

India and the Netherlands also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including – Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, European Union, United Nations and climate action. The Netherlands appreciated the invitation to G20 under India’s Presidency and looked forward to its participation. The re-launch of FTA negotiations and Connectivity partnership between India and EU were acknowledged as key drivers by both countries. Both sides also committed to early implementation of the outcomes of the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting in May 2021.

While noting the importance of regular bilateral exchanges at political and senior official levels, the two sides looked forward to holding the next FOC in 2023 in the Netherlands.

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