Since the 70’s until the decade of the 90’s the bilateral relations between the Republic of Bolivia and Kingdom of the Netherlands were focused on the development cooperation. The Netherlands contributed on projects, financing up to 400 mill US$ between 1969 and 1996. In the 90’s the the Netherlands was situated as one of the five major cooperating countries to Bolivia’s development.
Our bilateral relations moved forward beyond the cooperation area, identifying an agenda of common interests, increasing the spectrum of Bolivian-Dutch relations towards political, cultural, academic fields and commercial exchanges, which has been increasing in recent years.
The visit of the H.E. President Evo Morales Ayma to the Netherlands the 26-27 November 2006, contributed to the strengthening of our political relations, cooperation and trade, between the two countries. This official visit represented an significant outbreak on the bilateral relations which generated a new cycle in political, economic and commercial relations, as well as in cooperation, investments, and public opinion.
During his visit, President Morales shared his comprehensive and integral vision of the political process in Bolivia, developing a highly intense working schedule, which included meetings with Queen Beatrix, Princess Máxima, Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Economy, Minister for Cooperation, and President of the Economic and Social Council (SER), as well as numerous contacts with the private sector, and the media. He delivered two main public speeches one of them at the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague about the new economic and social policies in Bolivia.
The Minister of Energy and Hydrocarbons, Mr. Carlos Villegas, visited Groningen in November 2006 the most important center for gas reserves in Europe, holding several meetings with the Dutch energy sector authorities, in the interest of putting into operation a Memorandum of Understanding on energy signed in March 2006 by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia and The Netherlands.
The Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Mr. Bernard Bot, was in Bolivia at the beginning of 2006, achieving a greater strengthening of the political ties between both Nations. This visit allowed a direct dialogue on the political process and transformation in Bolivia and strengthened bilateral relations and cooperation with Bolivia in diverse fields, among others in the energy sector.
From 10 to 12 January 2008 the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, Mr. David Choquehuanca Céspedes, visited the Kingdom of the Netherlands, holding meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, Minister of Economy, Maria van der Hoeven, Minister of Cooperation, Bert Koenders and Minister of Foreign Trade, Frank Heemskerk.
These high-level visits clearly gave a fresh and innovative impulse to the relations between both countries during the recent years.
In an atmosphere of cordiality and mutual understanding, reflection of good relations between Bolivia and The Netherlands, on 12 September 2008, the II Meeting for political consultations between Bolivia and The Netherlands took place in the Hague, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the purpose of reviewing our bilateral political agenda and follow up the cooperation between both countries. The Bolivian delegation was headed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr.Hugo Fernandez and the Dutch delegation by the Director General for Political Affairs, Mr. Pieter de Gooyer. The first meeting of this Political consultation Mechanism between Bolivia and The Netherlands was conducted on November 21, 1993.
Our political dialogue is the way to get a deeper mutual understanding, concerning different issues and perspectives. There are asymmetries between Bolivia and The Netherlands, but we appreciate diversity and the Government of President Evo Morales considers that these dialogues are an important way to develop complementarities and understanding.
The Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr. Bert Kunders visited Bolivia in March 2009 meeting with several Bolivian Ministers and authorities. He also visited a variety of projects on sustainable development, education, institutional decentralization and other sectors.
The III Meeting on Political Consultations between the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the Netherlands took place in La Paz, on May 25, 2010 with the purpose to follow up of all the political and cooperation issues related to the bilateral agenda. The Bolivian delegation was headed by the Director General of Bilateral relations, Mr. J P Guevara and the delegation of the Netherlands by the Deputy Director-General of International Cooperation, Mr. André Haspels.
The bilateral relationship between Bolivia and Netherlands maintains an optimal political level, as well as the issues related to economy, cooperation and trade enhancement with very encouraging perspectives. All this shows our excellent relations of friendship, solidarity, and complementarity, projecting a series of links that allow further strengthening of our bilateral ties.