President Chan Santokhi stated that the visit of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to Suriname will intensify cooperation between the two countries at all levels. He expressed hope that, after this visit, both countries will do business together, increase import and export cooperation and expand markets in the Caricom and the European Union. The president replied to the press stating that the confirmation of this cooperation, which is being intensified at a high level, will offer many new opportunities for the country, but also the entire Caricom region, whereby Suriname can serve as a bridge.
After restoring the cooled relationship between Suriname and the Netherlands over the past year, both countries are now on the verge of further intensifying cooperation. According to the head of state, the government has made a strong case for this. This is partly due to the visit of the president to the Netherlands last September, the various ministerial meetings and the participation in various virtual sessions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president emphasized that the confidence that the government has been able to regain internationally through its foreign policy has resulted in a strengthening of cooperation with the Dutch government. Prime Minister Rutte’s visit on Monday and Tuesday can be seen as confirmation of the cooperation. It has been a long time since the Dutch prime minister has set foot on Surinamese soil.
The agenda of this meeting with the Dutch Prime Minister is very varied; from strengthening security to strengthening institutions and cooperation in the field of health, development of production and the agricultural sector. Technical assistance from the Netherlands in the form of capacity building, the state pension gap, family reunification and visa-free travel from Suriname to the Netherlands are also high on the agenda.
According to the president, it will also be looked at where the Netherlands can provide support in negotiations with the European Commission, especially in the issue of visa-free travel from Suriname. It is also the intention that financial resources are released so that projects can be carried out that benefit the people, but also the diaspora in the Netherlands and the tourists who visit Suriname every year.