New Delhi [India], April 9 (ANI): The leaders of India and the Netherlands launched a strategic partnership on water, agreed to alleviate the joint working group on water to ministerial level and broaden bilateral cooperation in new areas of water, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing, Sandeep Chakraborty, MEA Secretary (EW), said: "The highlight of the summit today was its focus on water. As you know, the Dutch are the world leaders in water management. One-fourth of their area is under sea level. They have successfully overcome the water-related challenges and have tested technologies, solutions in delta management, flood control, desalination of soil and more."
He further said that the India and Netherlands have strong cooperation in the water sector, adding that both leaders intensified the ongoing cooperation in water and to bring greater coherence in the sector.
"The two leaders launched a strategic partnership on water. To start with, they agreed to alleviate the joint working group on water to the ministerial level. They also discussed to broaden bilateral cooperation in new areas of water, including water budgeting, cost-effective, decentralised treatment technologies, converting wastewater to energy, and more," he added.
Noting that water security was a high priority for India, Chakraborty mentioned that the Centre is focusing on promoting water efficiency and its quality and safety through flagship schemes and initiatives, like the PM Kisan Sanchar Yojana, Har Khet ko Paani, Namame Ganga mission and the Jal Jeevan Shakti.
Speaking on the summit, the MEA secretary said: "India and Netherlands have long-standing warm and friendly relations based on shared values of democracy, rule of law, respectful human rights and historic bonds of friendship. Both leaders reaffirmed the commitment to further strengthen the bilateral ties in particular sectors of trade and investment, water management, agricultural, food processing, smart cities and urban mobility and more."
He also informed that in order to facilitate bilateral trade and resolve issues of Dutch and Indian companies, both sides announced the setting up of a fast-tracking mechanism between the two countries.
"For Dutch companies and investors in India, it will be set up in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and for Indian companies in the Netherlands, the Netherlands foreign investment agencies will be responsible," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the summit said that in the post-COVID world, new opportunities will be created where like-minded countries like India and Netherlands can build bilateral relations.
"I have complete faith that in the post-COVID world, some new opportunities will come to the fore, where like-minded countries like ours can build bilateral cooperation," he added.
Meanwhile, his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte lauded India's efforts in supporting Dutch investors during the pandemic, saying that the country's energy, creativity, hospitality are without equal.
"Your support helped support the continuation of trade between our countries even in those difficult times. We even appreciated the air bubble which was an agreement between our two countries and this enabled our national carrier to bring many Dutch and EU citizens back to Europe and return Indian citizens to India including many coming from Latin America," he said. (ANI)