PM Modi, Netherlands PM Mark Rutte to hold virtual summit: Know all about India-Netherlands relations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a virtual summit with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte today, April 9, 2021. The two leaders are expected to discuss in detail regarding bilateral cooperation and new ways to strengthen the relationship between the two nations. 

The leaders will also discuss and exchange views regarding regional and global issues of mutual interest. 


The Summit follows the recent victory of Netherlands PM Rutte in the nation’s parliamentary elections. It is expected to sustain the momentum in the relationship between the two countries. 

India – Netherlands Relations: Analysis 

•Netherlands, which is home to the largest Indian diaspora in continental Europe, shares cordial and friendly relations with India. Their relations are underlined by shared values of democracy, freedom and rule of law, said External Affairs Ministry in an official statement.

•MEA added saying that both countries have wide-ranging cooperation in various areas including healthcare, agriculture and food processing, water management, science & technology, smart cities and urban mobility, renewable energy and space.

•They also share a strong economic partnership with the Netherlands being the third-largest investor in India. There are over 200 Dutch companies present in India and a similar number of Indian businesses are present in the Netherlands. 

India-Netherlands History

•The relations between the two countries date back to almost early 17th century when the Dutch entered the Mughal Empire for trading purposes. 

•There was Dutch presence on the Indian subcontinent from 1605 to 1825. The Dutch merchants primarily came to India looking for textiles to exchange with the spices they traded in the East Indies.

•The Dutch had taken over Ceylon from the Portuguese in 1656 and they took the Portuguese forts on the Malabar coast about five years later to secure Ceylon from Portuguese invasion.

Interesting Fact: Ceylon was the name of modern-day Sri Lanka, which was controlled by the Portuguese between 1597 and 1658. 

•Besides textiles, the Dutch traded precious stones, indigo, opium, pepper and silk across India

Modern-day relations

•Netherlands PM Mark Rutte had made his first official visit to India in June 2015 during which he had held talks with PM Narendra Modi. 

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi later visited the Netherlands in June 2017 as a part of his three-nation tour and had held talks with PM Mark Rutte to strengthen bilateral ties. 

•The Dutch PM paid a second official visit to India in May 2018 along with various ministers from his cabinet to discuss various issues. 

Economic Relations

•The bilateral trade between India and the Netherlands has been continuing to gather momentum despite the continuing economic crisis in the Euro Zone and the slow growth of the Dutch economy itself.

•The Netherlands is one of India’s top 10 trade partners in terms of trade volume. It is also one of the largest investors in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India.

•While there are about 200 Dutch companies in India currently, there are at least 174 Indian companies based in the Netherlands. 

•A proposal is also in consideration for opening a branch of the State Bank of India in Amsterdam. 

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