PM Modi concludes 3-nation tour with speech to Indian community in Netherlands
PM Modi addressed the Indian diaspora in The Netherlands. Photograph: (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his three-nation tour of Portugal, the United States and the Netherlands and left for home.
Earlier, PM Modi concluded his last leg of the visit by addressing members of the Indian community in the Netherlands.
PM Modi's speech, filled with light-hearted banter, was met with huge applause from the audience.
He began by saying "Kaa haal baa", the Bhojpuri phrase for "How are you". A large part of the Indian diaspora in Netherlands comprises of Indians from the Bhojpuri community.
"The passport of the people who live here may be of any colour. Colours of passports may change but blood ties don't," the Indian PM said in his address at the Hague's Sportcampus Zuiderpark.
Reaching out to the Indian community, the prime minister called them "representatives of the people".
"The government has embassies and bureaucrats to represent it, they are called envoys. But all those over here are representatives of the government," PM Modi said.
"Netherlands is the country which has second largest Indian diaspora," PM Modi said.
The Indian prime minister expressed surprise that despite the presence of a large Indian diaspora, only 10% of the people had an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card. He said said his government was thinking of giving Dutch citizens a five-year business visa in the coming days.
In his address, the Indian PM also stressed on the importance of science and the synergy between development and good governance.
"Alone development or good governance cannot fulfill aspirations, a combination of both is required," PM Modi said.
"The India of the 21st century cannot stay behind when it comes to technology and infrastructure. Everything we have must be world class," PM Modi said.
The Indian PM spoke about the importance of women empowerment and women-led development
"The role of women in the agriculture sector, co-operatives is very important. India's Nari Shakti (women empowerment) is contributing to India's progress," PM Modi said.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi met Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, followed by a meeting with Dutch CEOs where he spoke about the reforms undertaken by his government over the last three years.
The Indian PM called upon CEOs to invest in India, calling it a "land of opportunities".
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte lauded India for its commitment to renewable energy and the Paris Climate Agreement."I commend India for its commitment to renewable energy and to the Paris Climate Agreement," he said in a joint statement with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Catshuis.