Evo Morales was sworn in for his third consecutive term as president of Bolivia on Thursday. Before that, on Wednesday, he turned up for an indigenous ceremonial inauguration at the pre-Inca ruins of Tiwanaku wearing an outfit engraved with the sun god, worthy of an emperor. The symbolism was fitting: Bolivia’s longest-serving leader has not only championed indigenous rights but also managed to enrich one of Latin America’s poorest countries.
But the man who is arguably the world’s most successful socialist will face a tough time in his third term, as plunging global oil prices slash the country’s key earnings from natural gas. Read more
Bolivia, a key supplier of gas to the southern half of Latin America, is facing potentially harder times as falling international oil prices are piling downward pressure onto the price at which it sells its gas.
However, Carlos Villegas, the president of the state-run energy company, YPFB, is confident that if oil prices continue to hover around their current levels of $82 a barrel, Bolivia can avoid having to cut the prices of its exported natural gas. Read more
Bolivian minister of rural development Carlos Romero (L), Bolivian Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and Bolivian Minister of Finance Luis Arce
Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales – along with his deputy Alvaro García Linera, a suave Marxist mathematician – seems to be sailing towards his third presidential victory in Sunday’s election, thanks to a self-styled socialist agenda, popular among impoverished Bolivians.
Despite the government’s sometimes fiery anti-capitalist rhetoric, Morales has managed to triple the size of the Andean country’s economy, which is forecast to grow at South America’s fastest clip this year.
In the country’s capital, La Paz, Warwick-educated finance minister Luis Arce explained to beyondbrics the Bolivian model behind the economy’s success: Read more
Is Bolivia ready to improve its image among foreign direct investors? A settlement with one claimant and an order to pay another at the end of last week suggest now would be a good time to do so – especially as the country tries to diversify away from its reliance on commodity exports and as President Evo Morales (pictured) prepares to seek re-election for a third term in October. Read more
Bolivia, often labelled as one of South America’s poorest countries, might pull a surprise in 2o13: the IMF expects this landlocked Andean country to grow by 6.7 per cent – its highest rate in ten years.
Despite the fierce anti-capitalist rhetoric and nationalisation policy of President Evo Morales (pictured), Bolivia’s gross domestic product has tripled to $27bn since he took office in January 2006, and economic growth has been chalking up an impressive 5 per cent average. As a consequence, the financial sector has also grown substantially. Any worries? Read more
Can I nationalise you?
For a country with a fondness for nationalisations and getting its way, going to full arbitration might feel a little, well, odd. Bolivia has been placing companies under state control on and off since May 2006.
So how did UK-based power company Rurelec manage to get Bolivia to go to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague over the nationalisation of the assets of its local subsidiary, Guaracachi, almost three years ago? Read more
Trying to carve out a Bolivian mining industry purely on his own terms is proving tricky for Bolivia’s leftwing President Evo Morales.
Recently, he was forced to give out some disappointing numbers about the performance of the Colquiri mine, which the government took over from London-listed commodities giant Glencore in June of last year, during a dispute between rival mining unions. Read more
Walking around the Uyuni salt flats, all you see is a dry and crusty white nothingness stretching to the horizon. But underneath this almost-lunar landscape in Bolivia’s Andean plateau is half the world’s lithium – the lightest metal on the planet, used in the batteries that drive a host of modern gadgetry and a potential power source for electric vehicles.
Now Bolivia wants to cash in on the value to be added to this precious resource, with the opening of the country’s first lithium processing plant. Read more
He believes capitalism has grown a little old. He believes that system is in decline. He believes nationalisations would not scare away foreign investors. He believes people would rush to buy his bonds. He believes he has the right alternative. Let beyondbrics introduce you Bolivia’s finance minister, Luis Arce Catacora (pictured).
“We are facing a structural crisis of capitalism. Capitalism is the old man around, an old man that is no longer responding to the advances of mankind demands. It is time for a change.” Read more
It’s been a bad week for mining in Bolivia.
President Evo Morales’ government moved 600 troops to the site of Glencore’s Colquiri tin mine on Friday after 15 people were wounded in ongoing protests between two sets of miners.
Company miners want to “nationalise” the site, which is already owned by state mining company Comibol, but operated by Glencore. Co-operative miners who want access to more parts of the site oppose the move. Read more
Is Bolivian president Evo Morales the poster boy for Latin America’s extreme left? Or for orthodox macroeconomic management?
Morales, a charismatic former coca union leader who swept to power in 2006 on promises to rebalance centuries of inequality, can do fiery rhetoric as well as his leftist allies Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. But just as Morales swapped his bobbly batwing jumpers for tailored suits with an indigenous fabric trim, has he taken a more conservative line when it comes to Bolivia’s bottom line?
Many economists would say yes. Read more