With Reliance Brands Ltd. now promoting Scotch & Soda and signing a franchise agreement, Tata Communications increasing its share in Teleena which is a Telecommunications company, and new Student Exchange Programmes being initiated between Erasmus and IIM Ahmedabad which is the fourth best B-school in Asia as per the recent FT survey, there is all the more reason to now upgrade to some additional skills and learn Dutch.
India, being one of the BRICS nations and emerging economies in the world, has more than 20% of its export entering Europe through The Netherlands. As per the recent updates, The Netherlands is considered to be the 5th largest investment partner globally and the 3rd largest FDI source. More than 200 Indian companies have a set-up in The Netherlands, approximately 115 Dutch companies have their presence in India and more than circa 200,000 Indians including Surinamese Indians are scattered throughout The Netherlands. There has been a rising graph in the investments and opportunities available in this mainland Europe. The Netherlands is considered to be the 7th largest economy of the European Union and with its business-friendly climate, it has been attracting more and more companies to set up their offices in the country. Not only are there better employment opportunities with increased investments, but more and more students in India are also opting for a Master’s Programme in The Netherlands and Belgium. KU Leuven, Erasmus University, Nyenrode Business University, Maastricht University and TU Delft are amongst the most popular universities. Not only are there prospects of bilateral trade in the sectors of Water management, Agriculture and Healthcare, but our IT efficiency and BPO base has also been creating a strong foothold in this part of the continent. TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Apollo Tyres Ltd. and Jet Airways, with the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport serving as its European hub, are a few giant organisations that have a strong foothold in The Netherlands.
At present, more than 27 million people speak Dutch. It is not only spoken in The Netherlands and Flanders, but also in Netherlands Antilles (De Nederlandse Antillen – Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Saba, Bonaire and Sint Eustatius) and Suriname. Flemish is the Dutch variant spoken in the northern part of Belgium which is known as Flanders. Though a majority of the people speak fluent English, it becomes a tad easier to understand the sign boards when walking down the street or to sit amidst a group of Dutch who would, undoubtedly, prefer to converse in their mother tongue. Apart from bridging the gap and aiding in integration, learning Dutch also brings new avenues to the fore.
A typical Dutch joke usually seen during Sinterklaas:
Laden en lossen means loading and unloading