Germany has for years been one of Bolivia’s most important bilateral partners. The country is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council up until the end of 2018. In that body, it has campaigned for environmental protection, the rights of farm workers and the agenda of women, peace and security. German companies are investing above all in infrastructure, energy, health and lithium mining. Although Bolivia still has the lowest per capita income of any South American country, it has managed to reduce its poverty rate by more than 20% since 2004.
Today’s meeting between the two Foreign Ministers focused on development cooperation, economic issues and climate protection.
Germany and Bolivia already cooperate closely on rural development, as well as on energy and water-related issues. At their meeting in Berlin, Maas and Pary discussed the new Agreement concerning Financial Cooperation that was signed at the intergovernmental consultations on development cooperation in La Paz on 7 December. Maas emphasised that it will substantially increase opportunities for cooperation with Bolivia.
Germany and Bolivia are also deepening their economic partnership. Today in Berlin, the two sides signed an agreement establishing a joint venture. In cooperation with the Bolivian company YLB, a consortium headed by the German company ACI will extract the raw material lithium from the Salar de Uyuni salt flat. The project will focus on building a local value chain as well as on supporting the local population. During his talks with Pary, Maas welcomed the signing of this agreement. He said it also showed that companies have earned the trust of their respective partners.
What’s next after the Katowice Climate Change Conference? This, too, was a topic of discussion during the two Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Germany believes it is essential to defend the Paris Climate Agreement as a shining example of successful multilateralism. Maas welcomed Bolivia’s membership in the NDC Partnership, a coalition established by Germany that pursues national climate goals by bringing together more than 100 countries and organisations in an effort to accelerate attainment of their Nationally Determined Contributions, especially in developing countries.