The Dutch have lined up plans for substantial investment in India in the coming years especially in the agro industries, logistics, water management, information technology, health and financial services and renewable energy sectors, Eric F.Ch. Niehe, Netherlands Ambassador in India, has said. The focus of the Netherlands' investment would be in sectors that are in demand in India and in which the Dutch have world-class technology. And in tune with this would be the visit to India of a team of industries with interests in renewable energy in June this year, Mr. Niehe told reporters here on Wednesday, after formally inaugurating the office of the Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Bilateral trade booming
With the bilateral trade booming (3 billion Euros in the last three years) Mr. Niehe said, the Netherlands is among the top five countries investing in India. He hoped that in the next three years, it would be possible to double trade. The Netherlands would harness its advantage as a gateway to and logistic hub of the European Union. On the cultural side, Amsterdam had played host to the IIFA awards, which was a great success. In 2008, a major Indian cultural festival was planned in Amsterdam. Indian artistes would perform at the festival. In addition, the Netherlands took part in film festivals being organised in India. The Mumbai visa processing office of the embassy processes 26,000 Schengen applications every year.

Business support centre
Apart from the office of the Consul, the Netherlands has a Business Support Centre to promote trade. "With this new office we expect to create additional demand for the Netherlands," he said. It would accept applications for passports and renewal of passports for Dutch nationals in South India, issue of pass for transport of the body of a Dutch national and issue of emergency passports to Dutch nationals who lost their passports. She said the office would intervene to get visas within a short time for businessmen in a hurry, if special requests were made.
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