The Netherlands and India: Partners for Sustainable Business

The Netherlands Trade Mission to India 2018 unfurled from 22nd May to 25th May. With over 200 participants, 140 companies/knowledge institutions, 4 cabinet ministers, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, this was the biggest ever Dutch Trade Mission to India and almost twice the size of previous flagship-mission in 2015.

During the course of the trade mission, Indian and Dutch companies brainstormed, discussed and shared ideas about collaborations in the below-mentioned sectors:    

Agribusiness & Horticulture
Life Sciences & Healthcare
Water Management, Logistics & Maritime
High tech & IT and Smart Cities
Sustainable Business

‘Let's make all trade and investments between India and the Netherlands Sustainable and Inclusive’ is the motto the The Indo-Dutch Sustainability Forum or the INDUS-Forum breathes.

One of the key themes that got a major push during this trade mission was sustainable business and innovation.

Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
“The SDG’s are our shared global agenda and sustainable business forms a critical part. Global value chains create a high level of interconnectedness. Working for people, planet and profit is the only way to go. Innovation is key and the private sector is showing us the way.”

Through the business connections forged within this INDUS forum, Indian and Dutch partners work to make sure that sustainable and inclusive decisions make clear business sense.

An example of this INDUS approach is the Circular Yarn Initiative. Indian and Dutch textile companies are joining forces to produce circular textiles for the European market. Innovative techniques have made it possible to turn textile waste into new high quality materials. This Indo-Dutch collaboration can cause a major shift in the textile industry. Transforming waste into high quality materials will save water and reduce the use of chemicals, while at the same time staying competitive, producing high quality circular textiles for the mainstream market.

Pals Brust, Co-Founder of Upset-Texitiles - part of Clothes the Circle, a consortium of industry players, with the ambition to realize 100% circular textiles production:
We often get asked why we are starting in India. That's because we've seen in India an intrinsic motivation to be sustainable. I've experienced this through CSR Netherlands, but also through the embassy. And of course, all the people in India are fully aware that change is really necessary in the textile sector.

Here is a video where the idea behind the circular dress that Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag during the Dutch Trade Mission to India is explained, and some of the media coverage it sparked!

Video on the circular dress

Minister Kaag wears dress hand woven out of waste

UPSET textiles handed a 100% circular dress to our minister Sigrid Kaag of international trade and development collaboration

Khaloom: we are creating a process to create high end fabric