Creation, strengthening and Promotion of Alliances: Bilateral Cooperation

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
Ministry of Culture of Colombia
Décrivez les principales caractéristiques de la politique/mesure: 

In recent years, the Ministry of Culture has strengthened alliances through high-level visits, mixed commissions and binational cabinets, in which issues such as: the Orange Economy Policy, the promotion of the publishing sector, the strengthening of the creative economy, the promotion of cooperation in the film sector, satellite accounts and the promotion of sectors promoting visual, performing and musical arts. With all of the above it is committed to complying with the 2030 Agenda and making culture a tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

It is through these activities that it has been possible to exchange experiences, knowledge and good practices between countries, strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ministry in promoting and fostering the creative economy.

The most strategic actions are highlighted below:

1. Europa y Norteamerica

Visits of High Authorities

The United States continues to be a strategic ally for Colombia in the cultural field. The support provided by this nation in priority topics such as the protection and renewal of heritage, museology, and the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property, among others, has been of great value for institutional strengthening in these areas. In recent years, the following actions stand out:
* Development and implementation of the Participaz project, whose objective was to generate reconciliation and peace-building initiatives in areas that have been affected by violence, using art and communication as tools for participation and the exercise of citizenship, especially mong children, adolescents and families. The Ministry of Culture had USAID resources operated by ACDI/VOCA within the framework of the Partnerships for Reconciliation Programme (PAR).

* The Ministry of Culture and Fulbright Colombia have offered opportunities for professionals of Colombian culture, with an outstanding track record in the sector, through master's and doctorate training programs in educational institutions in the United States. The subjects in the call have included the visual arts, music, dance, museology, cultural journalism, restoration and theatre, among others. Scholarships include per diem, airfare, English course, preparation for travel to the US, accident insurance, tuition waiver assistance, and immersion seminars on American life and culture prior to the start of the study programme. In 2017, two artists in the areas of cultural administration and visual arts were benefited.
* High Level Dialogues (HLD) between Colombia and the United States are the most important mechanism for political relations between the two countries and the highest instance at the political level for the diversification of the bilateral agenda; they allow addressing issues of mutual interest through dialogue and cooperation, as well as strengthening the relationship in the face of challenges and new national, regional and global realities. Within the framework of the HLD Education, Culture and Sports Roundtable, the commitments of cooperation in culture between Colombia and the United States are agreed. To date, two HLDs have been carried out:

o For HLD 2018, the results of the implementation of the Skill-building Project to Strengthen the Exchange of Knowledge on the Protection of Cultural Heritage were presented. This project was carried out with the support of ICANH and the alliance between the Ministry of Culture and the Smithsonian Institute and it allowed the loan and transfer of the work Camera degli Sposi (Tribute to Mantegna) II (1961) by Fernando Botero, which was part of the exhibition "The Young Master. Botero, Early Work (1948-1963)" that was exhibited at the National Museum of Colombia between August 2 and October 28, 2018. Additionally, 40 pre-Columbian pieces were seized in the United States, belonging to the cultural heritage of Colombia.

o In the 2019 HLD, it was proposed to prolong the alliance between the Ministry of Culture and the Smithsonian Institution, allowing for the transfer of good practices with the National Museum of African American History and other museums/entities in order to contribute to the construction of an Afro-Colombian Museum.

Likewise, a series of knowledge transfers and exchange of experiences on issues related to the Orange Economy were proposed, this in order to understand the public policies that have been designed by the U.S. for the support of the cultural and creative industries through : i) the creation of a specific International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) on the Orange Economy; ii) the development of initiatives aimed at strengthening women entrepreneurs such as the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), where Colombia has a unique opportunity to actively participate and iii) the promotion of commercial integration with US companies, with the purpose of promoting and consolidating investments, expanding the latter to other sectors related to culture, and strengthening alliances to co-create, co-produce and co-distribute cultural goods and services.

b. Canada and UK

In the framework of relations between Canada, the United Kingdom and Colombia, specifically with regard to the culture sector in recent years, the following actions stand out:

The first Canadian mission to Colombia on cultural and creative industries took place on February 2019 followed by a mission from the United Kingdom from on June. The delegations, made up of more than 20 Canadian companies and 12 experts in the case of UK, had a full agenda, with strategic meetings and field visits to cultural institutions in Bogota. During the meetings, each country presented their priorities regarding the creative industries; The Bronx Creative District was visited; work groups by sector were held to exchange information and identify opportunities for cooperation, and a space was opened for bilateral meetings; debates and panel discussions were organized between leaders of the public sector, trade organizations and the private sector.

Canada's mission is part of a strategy that seeks to promote the Canadian creative industries by encouraging the discovery and distribution of its creative content abroad. And the UK mission is part of the 'Creative Future' programme, created by the British Council with the aim of supporting the Government of Colombia in developing initiatives in the creative economy.

* Colombia and Canada developed arts residency programs with Canadian cultural centres such as: Banff Centre, Art Eastern Bloc, Council of the Arts.

* In 2017, a Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Ministry of Culture and the British Council with the purpose of "joining human, technical and financial efforts to promote and strengthen Colombia's entrepreneurial ecosystem and the cultural and creative industries as a whole."

Joint Commissions
a. Russia
In 2019, a Mixed Commission approved the creation of a Creative Industries Table where the two countries could share experiences and knowledge on the subject, and also implemented an interactive platform in which new actors and potential opportunities are identified.

2. Latin America and the Caribbean
Visit from High Authorities

a. Chile

In 2019, Chile agreed to the participation of Colombia in the Commission of Cultural and Educational Affairs - CACE. Among the proposal discussed here, the generation of spaces for joint learning, based on the inclusive formulation of policies to safeguard native languages, and the articulation of these policies with research projects carried out with the invested communities. Similarly, Colombia participated as guest country in the CHEC Market - Chile Creative Economy - on October 2019.

b. Panama

During his visit to this Central American country in September 2019, the President of Colombia ratified his commitment to help in the newly created Ministry of Culture of Panama. For this purpose, the Ministry of Culture of Colombia provides technical cooperation at every level. This cooperation initiative was formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding whose objective is the transfer of knowledge and experiences to facilitate the consolidation of the Ministry of Culture of Panama as a leading entity in the field of promotion and protection of cultural rights and expressions.

In 2019 the Vice-Minister of the Orange Economy made an official visit to Panama. The purpose of the commission was to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Week. This event aims to promote entrepreneurial culture among young people, as well as providing them with theoretical and practical tools that allow them to start or strengthen their business ventures.

Joint Commissions

Progress has been made with other Latin American countries in the development of Joint Commissions, through which periodic programs are agreed, including projects co-financed by the parties, the exchange of good practices and technical assistance for capacity building in specific areas.

During the period from 2017 to 2020, joint commissions have been held with the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, where projects have been approved alongside various countries on topics as diverse as the orange economy, the cultural satellite account and cultural and artistic expressions.

Dominican Republic: Culture satellite account. Exchange of experiences and knowledge transfer on the management, creation and methodologies of the Colombian culture satellite account. 2017

Chile: A commitment was made to strengthen the exchange of cultural agents that has been implemented in recent years through the national programs of each country. The same year, the Mayor of Vina del Mar visited the country, and highlighted the importance of Colombia's participation with new artists in the Vina del Mar Festival 2019. 2018

Panama: Development of a pilot plan on food and traditional cuisine in both countries, with an emphasis on the Afro population of Buenaventura and Panama City. Likewise, of a project that strengthens the cultural diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama and the skill set of the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia to promote the creative industries abroad. 2018-2019

Mexico: Approval of a knowledge exchange in the framework of traditional kitchens in Mexico and Colombia, with the purpose of strengthening a sense of ownership and relevant actions from the bearers, academia and cultural institutions for the safeguarding of traditional cooking, as well as fostering the sharing of experiences among teachers of the intangible cultural heritage. 2018

Paraguay: Technical assistance and knowledge exchange for the Training of Paraguayan Public Officials in Archival Technical assistance will be provided to the Ministry of Culture of Paraguay in the promotion of the visual, performing and musical arts. 2018

Guatemala: Technical assistance will be provided to the Ministry of Culture of Guatemala in the promotion of the visual, performing and musical arts. 2019

Honduras: A project to provide a digital document management tool to reduce the consumption of stationery, and promote a more efficient and environmentally friendly public administration. 2019

Binational Cabinets

Similarly, Colombia has carried out two Binational Cabinets with Ecuador and Peru, which are coordination mechanisms in which all the ministers of two States participate, headed by their respective presidents. They are the highest instance for the design and coordination of public policies for the benefit of the population of both countries, especially in the border areas. Currently, the Ministry of Culture participates in both Binational Cabinets with the following actions:


Implementation of the roadmap for the exchange of experiences, methodologies and good practices in the decentralization of public policies in border territories or in their areas of influence and the formulation of a preliminary project that can be financed through the Colombia Ecuador Binational Fund. Advice given by Colombia on Protected Archaeological Areas.

Accompaniment and advise, through mutual exchanges, in: implementation roadmap for management models of Archaeological and Paleontological Areas; reinforcement of management, evaluation and preservation of files; recovery and management of historical centres, and raising awareness of intangible cultural heritage.

Planned exchange of experiences and knowledge on the design and implementation of public policies and regulatory frameworks related to the promotion of the orange economy; creation of tax incentives for the audiovisual sector, sources of financing and satellite accounts for culture, in order to strengthen the institutional capacities of both states. Likewise, there will be an exchange of experiences for the promotion of books and reading and in management models for archaeological and paleontological areas.


Exchange of experiences on cultural public policies for Afro-descendant communities within the framework of the Afro-descendant international decade, as well as in film and audiovisual production, promoting reading and cultural entrepreneurship led by the Policy for Entrepreneurship and Cultural Industries.

Exchange of experiences regarding the design and implementation of policies, initiatives and programs aimed at promoting the audiovisual sector.Proposal of a binational booklet for the identification of cultural assets liable to be trafficked, strengthening the work of the institutions in the recognition of the heritage assets of both countries.

Commitment to sign a film co-production agreement that would allow both countries to expedite the joint production of audiovisual material, as well as facilitate its circulation.
Promote the mobility of Colombian artisans, as well as the international reach of their products, through the participation of artisan groups in the Peruvian Ruraq Maki fair held in mid-2020.

3. Asia

Visits from high authorities

a. Japan
During 2018, Japan and Colombia celebrated 110 years of diplomatic relations and one of the recurring topics in this history has been the cultural field, where high-impact actions have been developed for the exchange of knowledge and the strengthening of capacities between both countries.
On September 30, 2019, a Japanese delegation made up of three officials from the Government's Cultural Affairs Agency visited the Ministry of Culture in order to learn about the Satellite Account and the Orange Economy. In the framework of this visit, the policies and initiatives implemented by the Colombian Government to promote and strengthen the Orange Economy were discussed, as well as experiences and knowledge regarding the operation and management of the Cultural Satellite Account.
* During the month of February 2020, two high-level meetings were held.
o Meeting between delegates from the Ministry of Culture and the Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, where cooperation initiatives were established, including: i) participation of Japanese experts in this year's G-FACCT (Global Forum on Arts, Culture, Creativity, and Technology); ii) capacity building through study grants in orange economy development areas; iii) strengthening of actions for co-production (emphasis in audiovisual products); iv) continue the successful donation of public libraries, one of the strongest cooperation initiatives with Japan in cultural matters, among others.

o Meeting between delegates from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Tourism of Japan (METI) and the Chief of the Economic Section of the Embassy of Japan to explore job opportunities around a mission methodology in cultural and creative industries (including a business conference and academic agenda) between both countries, and the development of a policy on design in Colombia with the collaboration of Japan.

b. China

Within the framework of relations between Colombia and China, the following initiatives stands out in the culture sector:
* Colombia and China promoted the Cultural Exchange Programme between the Republic of Colombia and the People's Republic of China for the years 2015-2018. The topics included in this exchange programme were the following: Archives, Heritage, Visual Arts, Musical Arts, Performing Arts, Circus Arts, Libraries, Press and Publications, Cultural Industries, Film, Culture and disasters, and Sports.
* Between the months of August and September 2019, a training course was held in the city of Beijing for public officials, experts and academics dedicated to cultural and artistic work. The course, which was held through a call, selected 11 officials and experts from the Ministry of Culture. The topics covered in the course included trends in the Chinese cultural industry; transformation of cultural resources and the prospects of creative industries in China.
* In the course of 2020, progress was made in bilateral cooperation with the Chinese Embassy in Colombia to support the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Colombia.
4. Middle East

Visits from high authorities

a. United Arab Emirates
In February 2020, the UAE Finanace Minister, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, visited Colombia and met with high-level authorities of the Colombian Government at the main headquarters of the Colombian Foreign Ministry. This meeting identified common interests that both countries have in different areas and a list of the activities that have been developed bilaterally to further these interests. The main topics addressed included: i) Trade, investment and tourism; move forward with the implementation of the cooperation project for SMEs financed by the Abu Dhabi Development Fund; ii) Dual degree agreement; iii) Connectivity; iv) Agro-industry and v) Creative industries. Regarding the last point, the participation of the UAE Minister of Culture in the G-FACCT (Global Forum on Arts, Culture, Creativity, and Technology) in Colombia is expected.

Joint Commissions
a. Turkey
In the framework of the Joint Commission held between Turkey and Colombia in April 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding with the General Archive of the Nation was approved, entailing exchanges and cooperation on archival issues. In the same way, the possibility of cooperating with Turkey in the following areas has been raised: film production, heritage protection and arts exhibitions.

Quels sont les résultats atteints jusqu’à présent grâce à la mise en œuvre de la politique/mesure ?: 

The main achievement has been the diversification in the bilateral agenda that has allowed the execution of joint cooperation projects for the protection and preservation of culture, knowledge exchanges and mobility of artists, cultural agents and leaders, and the signing of memoranda of understanding and the exchange of experiences on topics such as the Orange Economy Policy, the promotion of the publishing sector, the strengthening of the creative economy, and the promotion of cooperation in the film sector, among others.

Ressources financières allouées à la politique/mesure en dollars américains: 


Partenaires engagés dans la mise en œuvre de la politique/mesure : 
Nom du partenaireType d'entité
Presidency of the Republic de Colombia
Secteur public
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
Secteur public
Ministry of Culture of Colombia
Secteur public
Embassy of the United States in Colombia
Secteur public
Bureu of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State.
Secteur public
Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC)
Ministry of Culture of Ecuador
Ministry of Culture of Peru
Canadian Embassy
Secteur public
British Council
Secteur public
La mise en œuvre de la politique/mesure a-t-elle été évaluée ?: 
Si oui, quelles sont les principales conclusions/recommandations ?: 

Joint Commissions are under constant evaluation and receive feedback from the parties involved. As a main challenge, Colombia has taken on the task of strengthening them as cooperation conducts whose main objective is to propose concrete, feasible and measurable initiatives involving culture framed within the 2030 Agenda.