New focus on Latin America

‘Latin America is and will continue to be important to the Kingdom. We are building on the close ties that already exist.’ This is what Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal wrote today in a letter to the House of Representatives. 

In its relations with Latin America, the Kingdom will focus more sharply on trade and economic diplomacy.

South and Central America’s geopolitical and economic influence is growing rapidly. This applies to Brazil in particular. The Dutch government is responding by opening an embassy in Panama and employing more staff at its missions in Brazil.

Opportunities for business are particularly good in areas where the Netherlands excels. They include the maritime sector, infrastructure and water management. But the agriculture, oil and gas, and chemicals sectors and the logistics chain also present interesting opportunities. The Netherlands also wants to expand trade relations through the EU, by concluding more free trade agreements.

The Netherlands can provide added value in the region by supporting the fight against transborder crime, including drug trafficking, which is a problem especially in Central America. Crime is undermining the social and economic development of the region, and derailing the lives of young people in particular. What is more, it has an impact on the  security and prosperity of Europe and the Kingdom’s overseas territories. The government is launching a programme with a regional approach targeting security and stability, democracy and human rights.