Mayors of Utrecht and Wassenaar attend the largest ever Indian Independence Day celebrations in the Netherlands.
Over 600 members of Indian community and friends of India gathered at “India House” – the Ambassador’s residence in Wassenaar, Netherlands this morning (August 15, 2018) to celebrate India’s 72nd Independence Day. This was the largest Independence Day gathering ever in the Netherlands and organized the second time at the ‘India House’ in Wassenaar. For the first time, Mayors of two leading cities of the Netherlands – Utrecht and Wassenaar namely, H.E. Mr. Jan van Zanen, and H.E. Mr. Frank Koen also took part in the celebrations.
The celebrations began with the hoisting of the Indian flag by the Ambassador H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony, singing of the National anthem and reading out President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the nation. This was followed by a performance of patriotic songs by the local music group “Madras Chorus” and Kathak & Odissi fusion dance performance by Netherlands Marathi Mandal. The celebrations were followed by delicious Indian snacks.
India and the Netherlands have a long history of friendly bilateral relations going back to more than 400 years, encompassing many areas of shared interest. The Netherlands is one of first three countries that established diplomatic relations with independent India in 1947. Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi visited the Netherlands on June 27, 2017. During his visit, he met with King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Rutte as well as his senior cabinet colleagues. He participated in a CEOs Roundtable and interacted with Queen Máxima in her capacity as UNSG’s special advocate for financial inclusion.
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mr. Mark Rutte visited India in May 2018 along with high level delegation comprising of four Cabinet Ministers and Mayor of The Hague. He was also accompanied by a trade mission comprising of 131 companies/institutions and nearly 200 trade representatives, which was the largest trade mission to India from the Netherlands.
Both countries have strong economic interests in each other. There are about 200 Indian companies based in the Netherlands and over 200 Dutch companies in India. The Netherlands was the third largest investor in India in 2017, after Mauritius and Singapore, with investments worth US$ 3.2 billion in 2017. The total investment from the Netherlands to India in the period 2000-2017 comes to around US$ 23 billion cumulatively. Around US$ 9.2 billion has come to India in just last three years. NL is also major destination for Indian investments with total investments by Indian companies estimated at US$ 12.8 billion as on 31 March 2017.