In the framework of the objectives of the foreign policy of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, of a Sovereign Bolivia, the view of the Government regarding international relations is directed towards promoting, extending and making the bilateral relations with the Kingdom of the Netherlands more dynamic, in the political, economic, commercial, academic-scientific, and cultural fields, in due regard to the precepts established in the framework of the Diplomacy of the Peoples for Life and the Living-Well paradigm.
BILATERAL POLITICAL DIALOGUE
The foreign policy of the Plurinational State of Bolivia seeks to strengthen, revitalize and expand bilateral relations with the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the political sphere, with the government, parliament and political forces, and the academic-scientific and cultural spheres, with the proper concern for the precepts established in the framework of the Diplomacy of the Peoples.
The Third Meeting of the Political Consultation Mechanism (PCM) was held on May 25, 2010 in the city of La Paz. The Fourth Meeting of the PCM was held on November 26, 2013 in the city of La Paz. The topics addressed were: a) Diplomatic Relations, b) Trade and Investments, c) Economic Cooperation Instruments, d) Cooperation in the Energy Sector, e) Cooperation in Infrastructure, Water and Solid Waste Management, and f) Possible Agreements on Aeronautical Issues.
On November 23, 2021, Ambassador Roberto Calzadilla held an initial working meeting with the Head of the Hemisphere of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mrs. Yvette van Eechoud and, on December 8, 2021, Ambassador Calzadilla met with the Chairman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
The above has lead the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to commence a new phase of relations with the aim of strengthening bilateral dialogue and cooperation to define the fields that will require further work in the near future.
During the talks, the conclusion was reached that, since the Fourth Meeting of the Political Consultation Mechanism, following the termination of the Dutch cooperation programs in 2014 and, after the closing of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bolivia, bilateral relations had been relegated without significant progress being made in recent years. The Letter of Intent on Cooperation on Energy Issues between the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands of August 27, 2013, which is still in force, is believed to have potential and the possibility of re-activating will be explored.
The new approach of the Netherlands is focused on providing subsidies for Dutch companies and knowledge and academic institutions seeking to invest in developing countries, especially in sectors in which Dutch trade and industry are world leaders. It is within this framework that one could think of activating relations and interactions. Along this line, the Wageningen University Mission visited Bolivia in December 2021 to explore possibilities of collaboration in areas as Bioenergy and other academic potentialities.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands currently cooperates with the program to fight COVID collaborating with the United Nations, which implements the COVAX plan that also benefits Bolivia.
Both countries are now in a period of exploring areas of common interest and economic and technological complementarity, especially in the development of sustainable energy and climate change issues.
Bolivia recognizes the significant cooperation work developed by the Netherlands in Bolivia in the last decades and this also constitutes an important basis to foster a positive and fruitful relationship that has been sown in many sectors.
The Netherlands has always been among the main bilateral donors to Bolivia, contributing, between 1969 and 2014, a total amount of US $1.18 billion. was the largest recipient of Dutch aid in South America. Since the opening of the development cooperation office (later the Embassy of the Netherlands) in La Paz, there has been a marked increase in the development of many aid programs, such as commodity aid, debt relief and (sector) budget support. Emergency aid was provided in response to the natural disasters (droughts and floods) that occurred in 1983 and 1984. From 1987 onwards, there was a marked increase in Dutch-supported development cooperation, as resources were made available through the Andes Program budget line. In 1995 and 1996, a substantial part of these funds went to multilateral debt relief. On average, the Netherlands cooperated with Bolivia with 35 to 40 million euros per year and in 2012, cooperation dropped to 30 million dollars. In 2013, it decreased further, reaching 15 million and decreased to four million dollars in 2014.
Currently, Dutch development cooperation is now mainly concentrated on unstable regions close to Europe: West Africa / Sahel, Horn of Africa, Middle East and North Africa with a focus on addressing the causes of poverty, migration, terrorism and climate change in those regions.
The Netherlands has annual funds to fight climate change, half of which will go to the new Dutch Climate and Development Fund for investments in developing countries.
There are a limited number of bilateral agreements between the Netherlands and Bolivia. These include a trade agreement (signed in 1929), an agreement on the abolition of visas (1961); visa obligations were reintroduced in 1990 and an agreement on the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments (1992), which was denounced by Bolivia and expired on 01/11/2009. All other bilateral agreements relate to development cooperation, such as the SNV (1969 and 1992), technical cooperation (1989) and a series of administrative agreements relating to individual projects.
Letter of Intent on Cooperation on Energy Issues between the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. La Paz, August 27, 2013.
Amendment to the Agreement between the Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Plurinational State of Bolivia Regarding the Project “Contribution to the National System of Protected Areas”. La Paz, May 25, 2012.
There are currently other agreements that are part of the agreements of the Plurinational State of Bolivia with the European Union.