The Netherlands will become a key entry point in Europe for Indian companies following the UK’s scheduled departure from the European Union (EU) later this month, Dutch King Willem-Alexander said.
He, however, expressed regret over the Brexit process, which is underway in the UK.
Commenting on the UK’s scheduled withdrawal from the European Union on October 31, Willem-Alexander said that Brexit, however, will make the Netherlands become a key entry point for Europe and also for companies from India.
“We regret the Brexit (process). But with Brexit, the Netherlands will become an even more important entry point in Europe and also for companies from India,” he exclusively told ANI here on Monday.
In 2016, nearly 52 per cent of the British electorate had voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU. The country was due to exit the European bloc on March 29 this year, but the deadline has been extended twice, with the new date set for October 31.
The King, who is scheduled to visit India, later this month said that he was looking forward to the trip, stressing that both countries can collaborate in various sectors including agriculture, water management and climate change.
“India is a very important country for the Netherlands. I am very glad that in the long tradition, my wife (Queen Maxima) and I are visiting India in October. India is amazing, its hustle-bustle, they have vibrant technology, innovations and it is an amazing place to do business,” he said.
“I am really looking forward to all the different elements of the trip like the 25th Technology Conference and the possibility to learn from the water management, to learn from the biggest democracy in the world. All these different elements that India has. So therefore for the future, it is very important to have this upcoming state visit,” the 52-year-old Dutch King stressed.
He also said that India can help the European country in its efforts to tackle climate change.
“We also have people who believe in a sustainable future of our planet. Indian people know from their religious side, how important the planet is. So they can also help us how to preserve this planet. We can also learn from each other in the fields of agriculture, water management and all different things coming up during the state visit,” said Willem-Alexander.
On being asked about the book authored by India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, on the history of bilateral relations between the two countries, the Dutch King said, ” (It is) a great job of Indian history. We are very grateful to him that he found a lot about the history of the two countries.”
A book authored by Rajamony titled ‘India and the Netherlands – Past, Present and Future’ was released on Monday in Amsterdam at a seminar attended by the King and Queen of the Netherlands.
The first copy was received by Willem-Alexander in the presence of a large number of distinguished guests including the Dutch Minister for Education, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam and Ambassadors of 26 countries.
The seminar was jointly organised by the Embassy of India and the Royal Asian Art Society in the Netherlands. The event took place at the prestigious Rijksmuseum (National Museum) in Amsterdam. The talks covered various aspects of history, culture and business ties between the two countries.
After the event, the King and Queen visited the 12th century Nataraja statue in the museum and also interacted with select representatives who embody the Indo-Dutch connection in the fields of business, science, culture, sports, food and health.
The Ambassador’s book is an encyclopaedia of the cross-cultural legacy between India and the Netherlands. It highlights the significant place India occupied in the Dutch world view and the relationship between the two nations secured by strong economic ties and vibrant exchanges in the fields of culture, sports, and yoga. The book presents vivid snapshots of relations between the two nations over the centuries.
“It brings to life the compelling personalities whose contributions shaped the Indo-Dutch discourse and also skilfully strings together nuggets of little-known information. It reminds that India and the Netherlands, above all, share a cultural and intellectual resilience, which has outlasted the challenges of change,” a press statement from the Indian Embassy in The Hague said.
Replying to another question where some of the facts mentioned in the book came as a surprise, Willem-Alexander said, “Being part of some of the elements in the book, I, of course, was aware of them. There were some very nice surprises and other things that I didn’t know from the preparations from the previous visit to your beautiful country.”