Prime Minister Mark Rutte of The Netherlands is likely to be the first foreign leader to be hosted by the new state government of Karnataka.
Rutte will visit Bengaluru during his tour to India next week. He is likely to be hosted by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, provided he proves majority in the state assembly on Saturday.
The Dutch prime minister will visit the Indian Space Research Organisation's headquarters during his tour to Bengaluru, the ministry of external affairs stated on Friday.
Rutte will be on a two-day official visit to India from May 24. His visit comes within a year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tour to The Netherlands last June. This is going to be his second visit to India since June 2015, but the first after being re-elected as prime minister of The Netherlands in 2017, the MEA added.
The Dutch prime minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising the deputy prime minister and minister for agriculture, nature and food quality; minister for foreign trade and development cooperation; minister for infrastructure and water Mmanagement; and minister for medical care of The Netherlands.
Besides, the MEA stated, about 231 business delegates representing 130 companies have registered to join the Trade Mission, accompanying the Dutch prime minister to India. The companies joining the Trade Mission represent the agri-food, horticulture, logistics, education, smart cities, water, health and life sciences, IT, and maritime sectors. The India-Dutch CEOs forum will take place in New Delhi during the visit of the prime minister of The Netherlands.
India and The Netherlands have a bilateral trade of US$ 5.39 billion. The Netherlands is the fifth largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of US$ 23 billion for the period from 2000 to 2017.
The Netherlands is home to a 235,000 strong Indian Diaspora, the largest in mainland Europe.
The Dutch prime minister's visit is expected to boost the economic and political cooperation between India and The Netherlands, said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.