On December 19, 2022, in New Delhi, the 11th India-Norway Foreign Office Consultations( FOC) were held. Shri Sanjay Verma, Secretary( West) of the Ministry of External Affairs, led the Indian delegation, while Mr. Paul Huijts served as Secretary General for the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands. The Hague hosted the final FOC in November 2021.
Regular political and official exchanges between India and the Netherlands demonstrate their close bilateral relationship. The two nations are commemorating 75 years of diplomatic ties this year. On April 4, 2022, the President of India paid a state visit to the Netherlands to mark the occasion. In August of this year, H. M. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands traveled to India to serve as the G20 GPFI Honorary Patron and Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development for the UN Secretary-General. Prior to these visits, Prime Ministers Shri Narendra Modi and H. E. Mr. Mark Rutte successfully launched the Strategic Partnership on Water at a virtual summit in April 2021.
Despite the limitations imposed by the Covid pandemic, the FOC gave people a chance to assess how the bilateral ties had improved over the previous year. In important areas like water, agriculture, health( WAH agenda), S& T, climate innovation, and renewable technologies, both sides talked about how to move forward. Both parties anticipated the inaugural Joint Trade and Investment Committee Meeting next year to further strengthen trade ties after Netherlands emerged as India’s third-largest export partner in Europe. Additionally, both parties consented to start out a policy planning dialogue that would aid in identifying potential future collaborations.
The India and Netherlands also discussed a variety of regional and international issues of common interest, such as climate change, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, and the European Union. Under India’s presidency, the Netherlands welcomed the G20 invitation and anticipated its participation eagerly. Both nations acknowledged that the resumption of FTA negotiations and the EU’s Connectivity partnership were important motivators. Additionally, both sides pledged to implement the conclusions of the May 2021 India-EU Leaders’ Meeting as soon as possible.
The two sides anticipated hosting the next FOC in the Netherlands in 2023, despite noting the significance of regular bilateral exchanges at the senior and political official levels.