Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

Bolivia boasts "economic solvency" in the face of the regional slowdown

Bolivia boasts "economic solvency" in the face of the regional slowdown



The Economy Minister of Bolivia, Luis Arce, defended this Friday in an interview with Efe the economic model of the country, which has led him to have an "economic solvency" relevant at a time when Latin America is experiencing a generalized slowdown.

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"Our model stands out because we are showing an economic solvency and social results that many countries that have more income than us and with much larger economies would like to have," said Arce at the Bolivian Embassy in Washington, where he is to participate in the spring assembly of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The minister, who arrived at the interview with a pin of Che Guevara with the Bolivian flag on the lapel of his suit, assured that the case of Bolivia is "the empirical and objective result that it is possible to implement other types of policies" in Latin America to get good results.

In its projections presented on Tuesday, the IMF predicted that the Bolivian economy will grow 4% this year and 3.9% in 2020, both rates above the region's average, which will advance by 1.4% in 2019.

"We do not have inflation problems and we have the highest rate of growth in the region: it is possible to manage an economic project taking into account the social part," he insisted.

Bolivia, a country formerly known for the exploitation and export of the mining and gas sectors, is now a "much more diversified" economy thanks to the program that has boosted Arce's portfolio.

Currently, mining and hydrocarbons represent 5% and 7%, respectively, of the total national GDP, while the contribution of the industry to the economy exceeds 18%.

Other sectors, such as agriculture, construction and the financial industry, also play an important role in the development of that South American country.

However, Arce aims to boost tourism in Bolivia through an "aggressive" program to attract tourists.

"We are a country that has plains, valleys, altiplano ... Many tourist attractions that Bolivia has never used before," he said.

Throughout the interview, Arce described Bolivia's economic model as "the antithesis of the neoliberal model," since, unlike the "capitalist theorists," his country advocates that the State be in charge of controlling natural resources. boost the process of income distribution.

On the other hand, the Minister of Economy was proud of having reduced the poverty rates of the country "making the poor richer".

According to data from the World Bank, 61% of the Bolivian population currently has average income, compared to 70% who lived in poverty levels when President Evo Morales came to power in 2006.

Morales is the president with more time in power in the history of Bolivia, since 2006, and aspires to a fourth consecutive term until 2025, after determining the Constitutional Court of the country that has the right to an indefinite reelection.

However, Arce asserted that Morales does not intend to appear again in 2025 and did not close the door on himself taking over from the Bolivian government when asked about it.

"In our government one does not run, it is the people who choose who will be the candidate. (...) We are always soldiers of the process," said Arce, considered by international media as "the secret of success" of Evo Morales

Alex Segura Lozano

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