State visit to India - programme

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima are to pay a state visit to the Republic of India at the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind. The visit, which will take place from 14 to 18 October, will include the cities of New Delhi and Mumbai and the state of Kerala.

The state visit will reaffirm the excellent relations between the Netherlands and India. The cooperation between India and the Netherlands and the European Union is strategically important, not least in light of India’s emergence as an Asian superpower and its role in the region. The state visit will focus on such areas as water technology and maritime development, healthcare, sustainable agriculture, social initiatives and cultural heritage. The King and Queen will be accompanied on their visit by Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, the Minister for Healthcare, Bruno Bruins, and the State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Mona Keijzer, will head a broad parallel trade mission to India to capitalise on the potential for economic partnership. 

Monday 14 October – New Delhi

The state visit will begin in New Delhi, where President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind will receive the King and Queen at the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace. Following the welcome ceremony, flowers will be strewn at the Raj Ghat monument, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The royal couple will then meet with the Minister of External Affairs, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, before attending a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the afternoon the King and Queen will visit the Barapullah drain to mark Dutch-Indian cooperation on water technology and water purification. Indian and Dutch young professionals will give a presentation on addressing water issues in major urban centres. 
The King and Queen will then have an audience with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. 

The first day of the state visit will be brought to a close with a state banquet in the presidential palace, where President Ramnath Kovind and King Willem-Alexander will both deliver a speech. 

Tuesday 15 October – New Delhi

On Tuesday the King and Queen will visit the India-Netherlands Tech Summit. The Netherlands is India’s current partner for the technology and innovation conference/exposition, now in its 25th year. Some 150 Dutch businesses, knowledge institutions and representatives of local authorities that work with India on water, food and health issues will be attending. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and King Willem-Alexander will both speak at the summit. Following the opening there will be a tour of the Experience Zone, where demonstrations will be given. The King and Queen will then have the opportunity to speak with participants.

In the afternoon the royal couple will visit a state school and learn about the ‘Go-Girls-Go’ project. This project supports girls making the transition between secondary school and vocational education, helping combat violence against women and girls and boosting women’s self-reliance. It also educates boys about what they can do to help. The school visit will also focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Indian pupils’ commitment to achieving them.

The King and Queen will end the day at the Tomb of Safdarjung, where they will meet approximately 50 alumni who have returned home to India after a study programme in the Netherlands. 

Wednesday 16 October - Mumbai

The King and Queen will be in Mumbai on the third day of the state visit. They will be visiting Tiny Miracles, an organisation that creates sustainable employment and at the same time provides employees with healthcare and education. Its objective is to lift communities in poor neighbourhoods in Mumbai out of poverty and help them to be self-reliant.

In the afternoon the royal couple will be attending the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) High-Level Discussion, where leading Indian businesses and investors will be speaking about current and future investments in the Netherlands. They will then attend the 3rd Indo-Dutch Port Forum, which promotes cooperation between Dutch and Indian ports, port authorities and port developments. 

The King and Queen will then visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum for the opening of ‘Indo-Dutch Connections in the Age of Rembrandt’. The exhibition will draw on artworks from the museum as well as miniatures and engravings by Rembrandt on loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

In the evening there will be a reception for the Dutch community before the day draws to a close with a short visit to the Gateway of India, which will be illuminated with a Dutch scene. 

Thursday 17 October – the state of Kerala

Following a meeting with the Governor of Maharashtra in Mumbai in the morning, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will continue their state visit in the state of Kerala. In the afternoon they will be visiting the Mattancherry Palace in Kochi, also known as the Dutch Palace. Indian and Dutch cultural heritage specialists will give a presentation on relations between Kerala and the Netherlands in the past, present and future. The King and Queen will then be given a tour of the museum and attend the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Dutch National Archives and the Kerala State Archives Department. 

After seeing the palace the royal couple will visit Nedspice, a company specialising in sustainable agriculture. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will attend a roundtable meeting of Dutch and Indian businesses, knowledge institutions and government bodies working to achieve the UN SDGs Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being and Clean Water and Sanitation.

The day will close with a dinner hosted by the authorities of the state of Kerala. 

Friday 18 October – the state of Kerala

On the last day of the state visit the King and Queen will tour the backwaters of Alleppey by boat. In 2018 the area, most of which lies a metre below sea level, was hit by major flooding which caused a great deal of human suffering. During the tour the royal couple will learn about the measures being taken to prevent flooding in the future, and how Dutch expertise can help. They will also hear more about agricultural development in the area.