Netherlands views India as a crucial partner: Ambassador Marten van den Berg
By DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sriram Karri
HYDERABAD: Marten van den Berg, the Dutch Ambassador to India, Bhutan and Nepal since August 2018, who was in Hyderabad to inaugurate an engineering and R&D facility for Xebia, one of the largest Dutch-origin IT organisations in India, on Monday, said, “At a time when global recessionary forces are at play, and slowdowns to zero growth mark most significant economies, India, which is the fastest growing large-size economy, is a crucial partner for the Netherlands.”
Ambassador van den Berg, who is also a renowned economist, speaking exclusively to Deccan Chronicle, said that the trade and commercial links between the two countries, besides being historic and over four centuries old, were growing strongly and across domains and sectors. Interestingly, the Netherlands was the first country to recognise and establish ties with India after its Independence, he explained.
“There are over 350 Dutch companies in India currently, spanning marine engineering, water management, environment, technology and green energy, among others. Interestingly, there are also over 300 Indian companies operating out of the Netherlands,” he said.
Known for his passion for research-based, global economic policy-making and making a collective impact for achieving sustainable goals, he said, “My connection with India is over 35 years old, much before I took charge as the Dutch Ambassador to India. I came here as a young backpacker – and the colours, smells and intensity of India made a deep impression on me. India’s varied religions and cultural facets as well the powerful contrast between north and south continue to fascinate me.”
Speaking of India’s growing influence in Europe, and his own country, van den Berg said, “of course, everyone knows Bollywood, and Indian food is very popular. But, at a deeper level, Indian work in technology, bio, pharma and research is being noted and is making an impact. The Indian economic story will be very crucial for the world.”
Speaking about the launch of a Dutch firm in Hyderabad, he said, “Hyderabad is a wonderful city and very important for us. The investments here are growing and the facilities are amazing.”
Wishing the employees of Xebia, which employs over 6,200 people globally in 19 countries, he said, “I wish everyone at the company lots of success in their jobs and personal life.”