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Modi meets Netherlands PM Mark Rutte: Both countries decide to strengthen bilateral ties

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held wide-ranging talks with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte during which both sides decided to deepen engagement in a range of areas including trade, investment, energy and agriculture. After the talks, PM Modi, in his media statement, said his commitment towards economic reforms will remain strong. He said besides bilateral matters, he and Rutte discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Modi also hailed the Netherlands for becoming part of the International Solar Alliance today. “I had called upon the Netherlands to join the International Solar Alliance and I am happy to tell you that the country has become a member of it today,” Modi said. In his comments, Rutte said there was a huge scope for the two countries to deepen cooperation in areas of trade and investment, clean energy, agriculture and smart cities.

This is Rutte’s second visit to India as prime minister and he is accompanied by a strong business delegation. His last visit to India was in June 2015. Rutte’s visit comes within a year of Modi’s trip to the Netherlands in June last India and the Netherlands have a bilateral trade of USD 5.39 billion and they are likely to focus on increasing it further.

The Netherlands is the fifth largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of USD 23 billion from 2000 to December 2017. The country is also home to a 2,35,000-strong Indian diaspora, the largest in mainland Europe.

Earlier, Rutte had tweeted in Hindi saying he is happy to be in beautiful India. “India and the Netherlands have shared close relations for the past 70 years which have strengthened over the passage of time. Eager to meet @narendramodi,” he wrote on Twitter. Rutte arrived in New Delhi on Thursday on a two-day visit to India.(Agencies)

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