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Germany and Bolivia: Bilateral relations

28.09.2023 - Article

The two counties have maintained good bilateral relations for over 70 years. Regular dialogue takes place between the governments, parliamentarians and civil society.

In 2022, bilateral trade totalled almost 293 million euro. Exports from Bolivia to Germany totalled roughly 134 million euro, imports from Germany 160 million euro. Bolivia’s main exports to Germany are mineral resources (lead, tin and silver ores), agricultural produce (nuts, coffee, soya, quinoa and millet) and leather and textile goods. Its main imports from Germany include machinery, optical products, household appliances, vehicles and vehicle parts, electrical goods and measurement and control technology. The German-Bolivian Chamber of Industry and Commerce was set up in 1955.

Development cooperation with Bolivia has been pursued for over 60 years. It focuses on three priority areas: drinking water supply and sanitation, rural development and the environment, and energy, in particular renewable energies and energy efficiency. Environmental and climate protection, support for civil society, gender equality and vocational training are important cross‑cutting issues. Helping Bolivia implement the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the leitmotif of bilateral development cooperation.

Cultural relations date back to the first wave of German traders and craftspeople who migrated to Bolivia in the mid‑nineteenth century. The German Cultural Centre (Centro Cultural Alemán) is over a century old and the German schools in La Paz and Santa Cruz are 100 and 87 years old respectively. The Goethe-Institut will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its work in Bolivia in 2024.

Three German political foundations (the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Hanns Seidel Foundation) have offices in Bolivia. Federal funding is also provided for numerous cooperation projects run by non‑state actors. These include church organisations, non-governmental organisations and the Deutsche Welle Academy. Exchange programmes such as the development volunteers service “weltwärts” and “kulturweit” (Bridging Cultures) make it possible for many Germans and Bolivians to spend time in each other’s countries each year. 15 Bolivian women participate in the German-Latin American-Caribbean women’s network Unidas.

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