India-Netherlands Fast-Track Mechanism (FTM)



    • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Invest India and the Embassy of the Netherlands formalized the India-Netherlands Fast-Track Mechanism (FTM).


    • Aims and Objectives
      • To strengthen bilateral efforts to increase mutual investment activities.
      • To support and develop business cooperation between companies in both the countries
      • To serve as a platform for faster resolution of investment cases of Dutch companies operating in India.
      • To ensure close collaboration between DPIIT (Ministry of Commerce & industry), departments, Invest India and the Embassy of The Netherlands.
    • Formalization: FTM was formalized between the DPIIT and the Netherlands Embassy by signing the  Joint Statement. 
    • Invest India: It is the national investment promotion and facilitation agency, and is the executing body of the bilateral FTM. 

    Importance of FTM

    • Parameter of strong economic relation between India and the Netherlands. 
    • Close bilateral relationship: Some Dutch companies have been operating in India for over 100 years.
    • Growth stimulation in key areas of economics, science and innovation for Dutch companies in India.
    • Amrit Kal: FTM is signed during a period of the celebration of 75 years of not only India’s independence (Amrit Kal) but also of bilateral diplomatic relationship.
    • Ease of doing business: India resolved several issues of Dutch companies before FTM with the help of open FDI policy thereby boosting investor sentiments. 
    • Win-win scenario: With several areas of mutual interest, the India-Netherlands investment corridor will be more robust.

    India-Netherlands Bilateral Relations

    • Genesis
      • India and the Netherlands established diplomatic relations in 1947. Since then, the two countries have developed strong political, economic, commercial relations and various sectoral co-operations. 
      • Strengthening of bilateral relationship is based on three pillars-WAH i.e. Water, Agriculture and Health.
    • Recent exchanges: 
      • PM Modi and PM Mark Rutte held a Virtual Summit in April 2021. They agreed on instituting a ‘Strategic Partnership on Water’ to further deepen the Indo-Dutch cooperation in the water related sector. 
    • Counter Terrorism and Cyber security
      • Both countries hold bilateral dialogues on security related issues. 
      • For example, the 1st bilateral cyber security dialogue and the 2nd India-Netherlands JWG on counter terrorism were held in December 2018 in the Hague. 
    • Indo-Pacific Vision
      • As per the 2020 Indo-Pacific guidelines of Netherland, India is considered as a key partner for engagement. Both countries share the close convergence in vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
    • Trade and Commercial Relations: According to official Indian statistics for Netherlands-
      • FDI in India: It was the 4th largest foreign direct investor in India. For e.g. Cumulative FDI of USD 42.3 billion (April 2000 to June 2022).
      • FDI from India: It was the third largest destination for overseas direct investment from India (USD 1.22 billion). 
      • Rank: It was India’s 3rd largest trading partner in Europe in FY 2020-2021. 
      • Bilateral trade: USD 17 billion in 2021-2022.  
      • India’s exports: Mainly mineral fuels and mineral-based products, organic chemicals, electrical machinery and equipment, aluminum, iron and steel and pharmaceutical products.
    • Water Management: 
      • Decision to institute ‘Strategic Partnership on Water’ was taken in 2021 and the JWG on water was upgraded to Ministerial-level. Dutch are the world leaders in water management. 
      • India is utilizing Dutch expertise in overcoming the water-related challenges and technological testing for solutions in delta management, flood control, desalination of soil etc. 
    • Ports/Shipping/Inland Waterways: 
      • Both countries extended the MoU in the fields of ports and maritime transport and logistics to focus on research and development, shipbuilding, innovation and sustainability. 
      • The 4th Indo-Dutch Forum on Smart & Sustainable Port-Led Development was held in September 2020. 
      • The Online Maritime India Summit held in March 2021 was attended by Dutch companies including Port of Rotterdam and Port of Amsterdam.
    • Agriculture and Food Processing
      • The 6th Indo-Dutch JWG on Agriculture Cooperation held digitally in June 2021 emphasized on Food as a core theme(solutions in food waste, horticulture, dairy and aquaculture).
      • The Dutch Government had organized the first ever digital innovation mission with CII India in 2020 to focus on Climate Smart Agriculture.
      • Under Indo-Dutch Joint Agro-Action Plan, two Centres of Excellence (CoE) were established at Baramati, Maharashtra and Wayanad, Kerala. 
    • Healthcare cooperation
      • Since 2014, JWGs have been held under the MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Healthcare and Public Health. 
      • It was to promote greater research collaboration in emerging health challenges associated with communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance. 
      • For e.g. MOU in healthcare innovation between the City of The Hague and the State of Karnataka.
    • Urban Development and Smart Cities: 
      • An MoU was signed in the field of Spatial Planning, Water Management and Mobility Management. It involved cooperation in various fields such as urban development, smart city, waste-to-value projects, geospatial planning and innovation.
    • Sports: 
      • One Million Hockey Legs Social Projects was initiated under the MoU signed in 2014, carried out extensive exercises and projects across several Indian States. For example, Dutch coaches train football players in West Bengal.
    • Renewable Energy: 
      • The Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was signed by the Netherlands in May 2018. India is one of the convening countries of the Global Commission on Adaptation. 
      • The Netherlands joined the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) in 2021. India invited the Netherlands to support CDRI’s Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) for Small Island Developing States. 
      • The Virtual Dutch Trade Mission was held in February 2021 with solar energy, hydrogen, biofuels , energy transition and e-mobility as a core theme.
    • S&T and Space
      • 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of cooperation in science and innovation. 
      • The Netherlands was India’s partner country in the Technology Summit 2019 and the Global Bio India 2021 Virtual Summit in 2021. 
      • Two new calls on the WAH! Agenda is agreed upon to boost mutual investments in science, technology and innovation under the shared knowledge and Innovation agenda.
    • Indian Community and Diaspora: 
      • The Netherlands hosts the largest Indian Diaspora on mainland Europe, including 2,00,000 strong Surinami-Hindustani communities of Indian origin. 
      • The approximate 48,000 NRIs/PIOs are mainly businessmen, knowledge workers, professionals and students. 
      • Indian students are amongst the top 3 in terms of numbers amongst non-EU foreign students in the Netherlands.

    Way Forward

    • India-Netherlands bilateral relationship presents good opportunities for cooperation between like minded countries in the post-COVID world.
    • Sustained dialogue, technology sharing, mutual investment opportunities and converging interests in the Indo-Pacific region marks the potential for ever growing partnership between the two countries.

    Source: PIB