Kingdom concludes new agreement with Venezuela

The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten have entered into an agreement with Venezuela to expand political and economic cooperation.

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans signed the agreement in Caracas, together with Prime Minister Mike Eman of Aruba and Prime Minister Daniel Hodge of Curaçao.

‘The Kingdom’s four constituent countries are all interested in closer ties with Venezuela,’ said Mr Timmermans. ‘We want to be a bridge between Europe and Latin America. This is a relationship with huge potential: social, political and economic. This visit is an important first step.’

The four countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands have close connections to Venezuela. In terms of area, Venezuela is the Kingdom’s largest neighbour. Aruba and Curaçao are located just off the Venezuelan coast. The countries are linked by extensive commercial relationships and family ties. Around 4,500 Venezuelans live in the Netherlands, while 1,500 Dutch nationals live in Venezuela.

Among other things, the agreement seeks to deepen cooperation in the fields of agriculture, water management, the environment and energy. There is demand in Venezuela for expertise and technology in floriculture and potato farming. Shell has technology that can benefit the Venezuelan petroleum company PDVSA. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world.

Mr Timmermans also finalised a treaty between the Kingdom and Venezuela on flights involving state and military aircraft through Venezuela’s international airspace by officially submitting the notification of the Netherlands’ ratification to the Venezuelan foreign minister, Elias Jaua.

After leaving Venezuela, Mr Timmermans will pay introductory visits to Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten. As a Kingdom minister, he is responsible for the foreign policy of the entire Kingdom, including the Caribbean countries.