India invites Dutch investments

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) Ahead of discussion on free trade agreement with the European Union next month, India has invited Dutch investment in agriculture, infrastructure, automotives, biotechnology, food processing and pharmaceuticals in the country.

The Netherlands ranks 4th in the list of countries in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows of 2.8 billion dollar into India from August 2001 to July 2007.

During bilateral talk with Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank Heemskerk here today, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said there is great potential for increased trade and investment relations between the two countries.

He expressed satisfaction that the bilateral trade between them has gone up by 22.3 per cent in 2006, while the total Indo-Dutch trade in 2002-2006 had almost doubled recording a growth of 97.79 per cent. India's exports to the Netherlands in these five years increased by 87.23 per cent, while Dutch exports to India went up by 11.16 per cent.

"We are happy the Dutch delegation comprising of both small and medium enterprises has identified biotechnology, agro-industry, medical sector, infrastructure and logistics as focus areas,'' he said, adding this approach will help identify concrete collaborations in view of vast potential that exists in these areas.

Mr Kamal Nath said the Netherlands is among India's top ten trading partners and investors.

On multilateral front, he expressed the hope that the Doha Round of talks would be conlcuded by the year end or early next year.But at the same time he said it would be possible only if fellow members of the World Trade Organisation werefaithful to its mandate and the outcome reflected a clear balance between market-opening and development needs of majority of the members." We will show flexibility to achieve such an outcome but the onus for movement is clearly with the large developed countries." UNI

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