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Dutch royals to visit Kerala in October
 
Thiruvananthapuram: Netherlands king Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will arrive in Kerala ona two-day visit in October.

A technical and financial delegation from the Netherlands would also accompany the royal couple during their visit to Kochi, the state's commercial hub, on October 17 and 18, state Chief Minister Pinarayi VIjayan said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

Vijayan announced the Dutch royals' visit after his meeting with Marten van den Berg, the ambassador of Netherlands to India, at the Kerala House in New Delhi.

In the FB post,he said that a host of subjects, including the rebuilding initiatives of flood-hit Kerala and the development of ports figured in the discussion with the envoy.

"As part of this, the Ambassador has informed that the Netherlands King and Queen will arrive in Kochi on October 17 and 18," he said.

A 15-20 member delegation, comprising company officials, professionals and technical experts from Netherlands, and a 40-member financial delegation would also accompany them, he said.

Ernakulam District Collector and the state residence commissioner in New Delhi would coordinate further arrangements in this regard, the Chief Minister added.

As part of the cooperation, the Netherlands National Archives and the Kerala Archives Department would jointly develop the Dutch heritage monuments in Kochi and 20 museums in the southern state, he said.

An understanding was reached to design and develop the Azhikkal port in the state on the lines of the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands and to strengthen the Kerala Maritime Institutes at Kodungalloor and Neendakara with their support, he said.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be signed in this regard during the visit of the delegation, Vijayan said adding that the development of port and archives was discussed with the Dutch authorities during his recent visit to that country.

The envoy opined that Kerala could make use of the Dutch expertise in agriculture and floriculture and offered support to turn the south Indian state a center of excellence in the area, the CM's FB post said.

The official also said the Dutch companies were interested to invest in Kerala, it said.

Stating that the Netherlands ties with India had its beginning in Kerala,Berg also said Hortus Malabaricus, the Dutch botanical classic on Indian flora, was a symbol of the long-lasting relationship between the two.

Vijayan had visited Netherlands in May this year on an invitation of the Dutch government to explore possibilities of cooperation in various sectors, including water management, flood prevention and agriculture.


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