The Embassy of India in The Hague successfully organized a Business Seminar on “Cooperation in Innovation & Key Emerging Technologies” on January 11, 2024. The event aimed at strengthen trade, investment, and business collaborations between India and the Netherlands, attracting over 125 participants, including government representatives, business leaders, academicians, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
The seminar, while focusing on the overall promotion of business and investment, placed special emphasis on how innovation and new technologies could drive bilateral trade and investment, offering significant opportunities for enhanced collaboration between the two nations.
Ambassador of India to the Netherlands, H.E. Mrs. Reenat Sandhu, in her opening remarks, highlighted India’s achievements in 2023, including the successful conclusion of India’s G20 Presidency and the Chandrayaan-3 moon landing. She underscored India’s exceptional economic growth as the world’s 5th largest economy, emphasizing the vast opportunities for business tie-ups in existing sectors such as Water, Agriculture, and Health, as well as emerging areas like AI, Semiconductors, and Green Hydrogen.
The Ambassador encouraged Dutch companies to explore and expand their ventures in the dynamic Indian market.
Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, provided insights into India’s Biotech Sector, highlighting its emergence as a hub of innovation and growth. He emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship development activities for fostering innovation and enterprise, suggesting ways to stimulate long-term research collaborations between India and the Netherlands. Dr. Gokhale, said “Technology partnerships and tech transfers can bring R&D in India up to speed with global developments.”
Director General Business & Innovation, Mr. Erwin Nijsse, highlighted the strong synergies between India and the Netherlands in trade and investment. He elaborated on existing cooperation in the sectors of Water, Agriculture, and Health, emphasizing technology partnerships to address societal challenges. Mr. Nijsse expressed optimism about the future potential of the India-Netherlands partnership, especially in new technologies and innovation.
The seminar also featured speakers from the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and Impact Hydrogen. Ms. Hilde van der Meer of NFIA focused on addressing global challenges collaboratively; he observed: “solving Global challenges together and move from volume to value”.
Ms. Nienke Homan, CEO of Impact Hydrogen, shared her journey towards creating a Hydrogen Valley in Northern Netherlands, highlighting the potential for connecting countries and companies through Green Hydrogen networks.
A fireside chat with Dr. Gokhale and Mr. Nijsse, moderated by Mr. Suneet Khanna, provided insights into existing synergies, past learnings, potential domains, tech incubators, tech funding, and Artificial Intelligence-related developments. Private sector representatives from startups ‘Keystonemab,’ ‘Eindhoven Medical Robotics,’ and ‘Holofil’ shared their experiences of doing business in India and the Netherlands.
Companies attending the seminar praised the fruitful discussions and networking opportunities provided by the event. Ambassador Sandhu observed: “India, with its rich history, diverse culture, macroeconomic and financial stability, and rapidly expanding economy, presents a canvas of opportunities for Dutch companies seeking to make a mark on the global stage”.
Trade statistics showcased India’s robust economic growth, nearing the position of the third-largest economy by 2030. The Netherlands emerged as India’s 11th largest merchandise trading partner globally and the largest in the European Union. More than 300 Indian companies have their presence in the Netherlands and a similar number of Dutch companies have their foothold in India. The total merchandise trade during the F.Y. 2022-2023 stood at USD 27.580 billion, with the Netherlands being India’s largest merchandise export destination in Europe.