Largest trade mission to India gives a phenomenal boost to the relationship with the Netherlands

A historic trade mission to India has resulted in fruitful collaborations as numerous MoUs were signed. The official business delegation visited New Delhi and Bangalore for collective visits, network events, seminars, bilateral meetings and trade dinners. The aim of the mission was to provide opportunities to become better acquainted with the Indian healthcare sector,  to seek new opportunities for cooperation, and to strengthen existing cooperations, as India provides an interesting market for Dutch organisations in the Life Sciences & Health sector.

The delegation

The largest trade mission ever to India from the Netherlands took place from 22 to 25 May. The mission was led by Prime Minister Rutte, Minister Kaag (Foreign Trade & Development), Minister Schouten (Agriculture), and Minister Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure). Hans de Boer, Chairman of VNO-NCW, led the business delegation. Minister Bruins of Medical Care and Sports led the Life Sciences & Health programme. The accompanying business delegation included 28 organisations of which half were knowledge institutions.

Healthcare in New Delhi

The official business delegation started the mission in New Delhi where they were welcomed by Ambassador Stoelinga. The highlight of was the one-on-one with Minister Bruins and the business delegation. Two collective visits were made to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Max Super Specialty Hospital. In addition, the delegation also participated in the Healthcare Challenges seminar co-organised by NATHEALTH, mainly discussing themes related to healthcare accessibility, optimised healthcare through smart solutions, innovation for affordable healthcare, vaccine partnership & development, and healthcare capacity building. The New Delhi visit successfully ended with a Holland trade dinner at the Ambassador’s Residence. MoUs were signed by Erasmus MC, Delft University of Technology and LiteVax swyMed under the presence of the ministers.

Next stop: Bangalore

In Bangalore, the delegation visited the Philips Innovation Centre and the Manipal Hospital. Which is the largest private hospital group in India, offering treatments and facilities across a wide range of specialisations including cardiac care, renal sciences, cancer care and organ transplants. At last the trade mission was wrapped up by a Trade Innovation Dinner with a short note from Minister Kaag. Just as at trade dinner in New Delhi, several MoUs were signed, for example by swyMed and Elsevier.

In line with the positive feedback from the business delegation, the mission has given a phenomenal boost to the existing relationship between the Netherlands and India within the Life Science & Health sector.

Also according to Prime Minister Rutte: “Prime Minister Modi and I agreed to further strengthen the close partnership between the Netherlands and India. With a rapidly growing Indian economy and the Netherlands as a gateway to Europe, there are many opportunities to be seized on both sides.”

But also Minister Bruins addresses the relationship with India. “Prime Minister Modi is seeking to reform the healthcare system and help 500 million people get insured,” said Mr Bruins. “This is an enormous operation, and it can only work if the public and private sectors work together. We talked with the Indian prime minister about the advice and support that Dutch research institutions and companies can give India. This also applies to the issue of antibiotic resistance. In 2040 this is predicted to cause 10 million deaths per year worldwide. India and the Netherlands are going to work together more closely to turn the tide.”

The Indian-Dutch relationship will be further consolidated with the presence of an Indian delegation at the World of Health Care (WoHC) on 27 September 2018. The WoHC offers a special meet & greet session with the Indian delegation where you can discuss the interesting opportunities in the Life Sciences & Health sector in India.