"40 years of mutual trust, let's keep moving forward for the growth of Bolivia "
My mission in Bolivia began in March 2018. It turned out to be a very surprising return after sixteen years, since I had the great pleasure of serving in these lands between 1999 and 2002. Through the follow-up I was conducting on the development of this country, as a newcomer I could clearly prove that Bolivia has achieved an outstanding economic and social development in recent years; an assessment carried out by a prudent macroeconomic management, a strong development of the infrastructure, and the improvement of the human development indexes with the consequent reduction of poverty and the expansion of the middle class increasingly strengthened. In 2018 we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement of JICA in Bolivia; and we also celebrate the forty years of our Volunteer Program. With four decades of cooperation in Bolivia, it is inevitable to embark on reflection to internalize the lessons learned from the past and, continue learning for tomorrow, reaffirming our aspirations to contribute to the development of Bolivia.
In forty years we have developed the principles of "Human Security" as the spirit of each of our actions, forging our structural bases, strengthening our actions in the sectors of renewable energies, infrastructure for disaster prevention, water resource management, agricultural production and health to support the fulfillment of the Goals for the Sustainable and socioeconomic development in Bolivia. On the other hand, in order to develop efficient cooperation in Bolivia and respond to the need of JICA's cooperation strategy, we efficiently apply the schemes of Concessional Credit, Grant Cooperation, Technical Cooperation and Volunteer Program.
Today's global issues require effective responses to meet the multidimensional development topics following the rapid evolution of technology. Setting out from this premise, the guideline that inspires us is the "Kyoso" that is interpreted as "co-creation". Japanese and Bolivians have learned from each other and we have been able to generate results based on the recognition of the other's potential. JICA serves as the articulator of wisdom for non-traditional actors such as academia or the private sector and tripartite alliances (South-South cooperation) to deliver innovative cooperation. An emblematic project of co-creation of knowledge is the Bolivian-Japanese Gastroenterological Institute that began with the provision of infrastructure and equipment in 1977 and to date is a public third-level hospital, specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases. Thanks to this impressive development and alliances generated between Japan, Bolivia, Latin American countries, universities, medical specialists and private companies, today it is a recognized training center of Latin America accredited by the World Gastroenterology Organization.
"Trust" is the heart of JICA's cooperation. Under the slogan "let's join the world with bonds of trust", we have been building extensive friendship relations in Bolivia thanks to the constant work with the Bolivians and the various development partners. The Volunteer Program is the scheme that with the greatest purity conveys the importance of interaction between people. To date, one thousand two hundred and twenty-two Japanese volunteers have been received in Bolivia, working together in the development of communities and people in general.
Our aspiration is to contribute to the construction of a world where trust brings people and communities together to join forces and focus our eyes on the goal of transmuting towards more inclusive societies and systems.
I conclude that in these forty years, JICA contributed to the social and economic development in Bolivia and naturally deepened the friendly relations between our peoples. Thank you, Bolivia. From now t's a new challenge and it makes me very excited to face it on my return.
I appreciate your great cooperation until now and hope our bond of trust will be more strengthened in future!
Chief Representative, JICA Bolivia Office