Need to reform, improve WTO through negotiations: Sigrid

Sigrid Kaag, Kingdom of Netherlands are seen at interactive session on Smart Cities and High Tech sectors with business delegation from Netherlands organised by Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) and Kingdom of Netherlands at Taj West End H

The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, has emphasised the need to reform and improve the World Trade Organisation for trade collaborations through negotiations.

Speaking at the launch of #StartUpLink, an Indo-Dutch startup initiative here, she said some challenges that affect trade collaborations must be sorted out.

Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had raised this important issue, she said the Netherlands was committed to the two nations engaging around it. On challenges to be sorted out in trade collaboration between the two nations, she said these involve international trading rules, the WTO and some governments' 'unilateral decisions.'

"We are concerned and we want to keep up the system that has been built. We believe that WTO should be reformed, can be improved, but we do this through negotiations. Now India is a country that works very actively multilaterally within the international system," said Kaag.

On technology collaborations, she said there are agreements in the field of agriculture, health logistics, water management, IT, financial services and waste to energy. She said FDI between India and Netherlands was excellent and there was scope to do better.

"In an era post Brexit, we want to further consolidate our presence in the emerging markets. India is the third largest economy at present. We foresee future growth in a lot of areas," she said.

"If I take agriculture as one sector where you have a need, the Prime Minister has distinctly declared a number of programmes that are his priority. We feel that our expertise, government and the non-government private sector has a lot to contribute to the achievement to the national agenda of India," she said.

Kaag also highlighted the scope for higher education in the Netherlands, especially in technology. She said a lot of research is done in Dutch universities like Delft and Twente. Regarding the #StartUpLink, she said that with the link, her government was not only assisting Dutch startups to 'Make in India,' but enabling Indian startups to find their way in the Netherlands as well.

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Need to reform, improve WTO through negotiations: Sigrid

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