My India 3: “Take for example Uttar Pradesh”
The Dutch economy depends for fifty percent on its exports. But our exports are directed for seventy percent to our European partners, whose economies are in dire straits. It is time to diversify our exports to the fast growing economies in Asia.
The most important task of the Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi, the Consulate General in Mumbai and the Netherlands Business Support Offices in Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmadabad is to make sure that for Dutch businesses the fast growing economy of India becomes a source of growth of turnover and of profit. That is our contribution to safeguarding the prosperity and employment in our country.
Uttar Pradesh is one of the 28 states in de union of India. But it has a population of 200 million, more than Brazil. After India’s independence, the Netherlands supported India for decades with development cooperation. The Dutch concentrated their support in the states of Kerala, Gujarat and......Uttar Pradesh. “The Netherlands” or ”Holland” or “Dutch” are still very solid brand names in Uttar Pradesh in the field of agriculture, water, infrastructure and health.
In 2003 it was decided to terminate the development cooperation support to India. Also India itself was of the opinion that it had sufficient funds for its further development. It is a pity that with the development cooperation also our expertise left Uttar Pradesh.
Luckily enough Indians have a very good memory:
When in the beginning of February I visited Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, with a delegation of Dutch businesses, we were met everywhere with recognition and acknowledgement of the added value for Uttar Pradesh of Dutch know how. Whether it is on urban development, energy saving, logistics, water management or health care, up to the highest levels doors opened. The companies, which had come along, could all showcase their expertise in these fields.
India has a special need for food supply chain (management). Today some 25 percent of meat, fish, vegetables and fruits perish on their way from the farmer to the table of the consumer. Since parliament approved foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, India expects the world’s largest supermarket chains to invest tens of billions of dollars in India. But all those supermarkets will need safe, effective and efficient supply lines. It’s all about smart logistic solutions and and good storage capacity. And that’s exactly one of the expertise of the Dutch agriculture sector.
During the visit to Lucknow the Dutch companies met businesses from Uttar Pradesh. We also held an information session for enthusiastic students of the university of Lucknow on studying (in the English language) in the Netherlands.
Uttar Pradesh has 200 million inhabitants. At least we’ve made a start!