Your Excellency, Prime Minister & my friend,
Members of the Media,
Heartiest welcome to Prime Minister Mark and his delegation in India. I am particularly pleased that with Prime Minister Mark, his four Cabinet colleagues, the Mayor of the Hague and more than 200 business representatives have also come to India. This is the largest business delegation to have come to India from Netherlands. And it clearly shows how much dynamism is there in our trade and investment relationship. So many possibilities are there. Prime Minister Rutte first came to India in 2015. I visited Netherlands in 2017 and today this was our third summit meeting. There are very few such countries, with whom we have this kind of momentum of high level visits in our relationships. And for this momentum and for giving personal priority to the relations with India, I congratulate my friend Mark from the bottom of my heart.
Today, both of us reviewed the progress in our bilateral relations. And shared our own assessments of regional and global developments. And we also met the prominent CEOs of both the countries. Last year when I went to Netherlands, I had urged my friend Mark to think positively on becoming a member of the International Solar Alliance. The expertise, the technology and the experience which Netherlands has in the field of solar power, whole world should benefit from it. And I am happy that today Netherlands has become a member of the International Solar Alliance. I express my gratitude to Prime Minister Rutte for this decision. From UN Security Council to Multilateral Export Control Regimes, India and Netherlands have had very good and close cooperation and coordination. And now International Solar Alliance will be a new dimension of our strong cooperation in international forums.
India is not new to Dutch companies. Hundreds of Dutch companies have been working in India for many years. So far Netherlands is the fifth largest source for total foreign direct investment in India and in the past few years it has emerged as the third largest source. Similarly, Netherlands is also a very attractive destination for investment by Indian companies. And therefore, meeting with the CEOs of both the countries is very useful. I am happy that the business community in Netherlands is enthusiastic about opportunities being created in India. I have also assured them of my strong commitment towards economic reforms in India. Areas related to agriculture and food processing are particularly important for India. These topics are connected with our Food Security and at the same time, it is also important for our goal of doubling the income of the farmers of India. Netherlands has expertise in these areas. Last year Netherlands participated as the Focus Country in World Food India Summit. And I believe that in its next edition in 2019, participation of the Netherlands will be even more. I am happy that the first Indo-Dutch Center of Excellence for vegetables has started in Baramati. We are working together on other similar types of centers as well. Similarly, our cooperation in urban development is also very dynamic. Waste Water Management projects in Vadodara and Delhi are making good progress. We are completing 10 years of cooperation in Science & Technology, and this successful partnership will be further strengthened by participation of Netherlands as a Partner Country in the Tech Summit, which will be held in India in 2019.
Providing special attention to the issues of Indian society living abroad has been a major priority of my government's foreign policy. I specifically thank Prime Minister Rutte and the Government of Netherlands for the assistance in safe extraction of Indian nationals at the time of hurricane that came in Sint Maarten in September 2017.
Once again I very warmly welcome you and your delegation in India.
Many Many Thanks.