Bolivia had a trade surplus of more than US$500 million with India in 2018, said the CEO of the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (IBCE), Gary Rodríguez. Exports to India increased significantly since 2007. “Bolivia sold U$D 723 million and imported U$D 152 million, therefore the surplus reached U$D 517 million. We expect this kind of relationship in the country to shore up our International Reserves in the BCB.”
Bolivia has a 2030 development plan that will be based on lithium, affirmed President Evo Morales. He added that there are plans to build more than 40 lithium plants and some of them are under construction. The President pointed out, that the “2030 Plan” will also include the construction and industrialization plants of hydrocarbon gas pipelines to the Pacific.
According to Supreme Decree No. 3738 of December 7, 2018, the capital paid by the German company ACISA for a 70-year contract, at the time to constitute the Public Joint Venture with the Bolivian lithium state company (YLB-), was only US$ 739,224.
Bolivia is the country with more low productivity employment in Latin America, according to a study. According to the Inaset Foundation, low productivity employment is over 60% with a negative impact on incomes and the country’s development.
Bolivian producers expect to export meat to the Russian and Chinese market by mid-year. A Russian delegation will visit Bolivia this month to inspect the refrigerating plants enabled to export meat and to review the sanitary protocol that should be agreed between Russia and Bolivia.
Bolivia plan to invest $US1.4 billion to explore 23 sectors in the country and drill 25 new gas wells on the hope of finding new reserves. The investment will be financed by national and international companies.
The Bolivian government signed a joint venture with the Chinese consortium Xinjiang TBEA Group-Baocheng to industrialised lithium in the country. The joint venture plan to open eight lithium plants in the Coipasa and Pastos Grandes salt flats in Potosi with an investment of $US2.3 bn. The project also aims to open a lithium batteries factory in China.
Gold cooperatives exported in 2018 $US 1.1 billion of metallic gold, but only pay about $US 30 million for royalties. The main markets are India and the United Arab Emirates. According to the former mining authorities, the extraction of metallic gold is having a negative environmental impact.
Bolivia sent an invitation to Brazil to continue the development of bi-oceanic train that will connect the Atlantic in Brazil with the Pacific in Peru, going through Bolivia. According to the Bolivian government, the invitation was sent to the government of Jair Bolsonaro, asking to name the authorities that will continue the dialogue with Bolivia and Peru. Brazil has not reply to the invitation but has asked more time to define their authorities.
Bolivia fell 20 places in the Global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2018, from 112 to 132. The index – developed by Transparency International (TI), reveals that Bolivia obtained a score of 29, where 0 is the highest level of corruption and 100 is the highest score.
On 2012, 2013 and 2015, Bolivia maintained a score of 34 in the perception of corruption; while in 2014 achieved its highest historical score reaching 35. However, the situation deteriorated by 2016 and 2017 with 33 in both years until reaching 2018 with only 29 points in the perception of corruption.