The Netherlands has emerged as India's third largest exports destination after the US and UAE during April-December this fiscal on account of a surge in shipment of goods such as petroleum products, electronic items, chemicals, and aluminium goods.
India's trade surplus with the Netherlands has also increased from USD 1.5 billion in 2017 to USD 12.3 billion in 2022.
The Netherlands has taken over major destinations such as the UK, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Germany, according to data of the commerce ministry.
India's exports to the Netherlands rose by about 69 per cent to USD 13.67 billion during April-December 2022 as against USD 8.10 billion in the same period previous year, the data showed.
In 2021-22 and 2020-21, the outbound shipments to the European country stood at USD 12.55 billion and USD 6.5 billion, respectively. The exports are registering healthy growth continuously since 2000-01, when India's exports to that nation was USD 880 million.
Further, in 2021-22, the Netherlands was the fifth largest destination for Indian exports as against ninth in 2020-21.
Federation of Indian Export organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said the Netherland has emerged as a hub for Europe with efficient port and connectivity with EU through road, railways and waterways.
"Petroleum exports went up significantly. During April-November this fiscal, these exports rose from USD 2.7 billion during April-November 2021-22 to USD 6.4 billion as oil companies are using the Netherlands as distribution hub. Aluminium, electrical and electronics and pharma exports also contributed significantly though some of these goods may be finally consumed in Germany or France," Sahai said.
In the calendar year, India's exports to the country increased to USD 18.1 billion in 2022 from USD 5.5 billion in 2017.
According to economic think tank GTRI (Global Trade Research Initiative), ATF (aviation turbine fuel) and diesel were the key petroleum products exported from India to that country.
Telecom equipment and smartphones with a value of over USD 1 billion were the largest electronic items, it said.
Mumbai-based exporter and Chairman of Technocraft Industries, Sharad Kumar Saraf said the Netherlands is a gateway to Europe as their ports are very efficient hence cheaper than other European ports for shipping operations.
India and the Netherlands established diplomatic relations in 1947. Since then, the two countries have developed strong political, economic and commercial relations.
In 2021-22, the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 17 billion as against about USD 10 billion in 2020-21.
The Netherlands is among top trading partners of India in Europe, after Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Belgium. It is also a major investor in India. During April-September this fiscal, India received USD 1.76 billion in foreign direct investment from the Netherlands. It was USD 4.6 billion in 2021-22.
There are over 200 Dutch companies present in India, including Philips, Akzo Nobel, DSM, KLM and Rabobank. Similarly, there are over 200 Indian companies operating in the Netherlands, including all the major IT firms such as TCS, HCL, Wipro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra as well as Sun Pharmaceuticals and Tata Steel.