Give you credit but under conditions, says Brazil to Bolivia

In all parts of the world the golden rule applies, whoever has the gold makes the rules. The financing for the road, that will now bypass the TIPNIS, is Brazilian. As such, the 8th economic world power  is no exemption when is the time to approve the funding for such road. At the other end sits a Bolivian government who is keen at accusing imperial and colonial attitudes, however in this particular issue, it says nothing.

El Dia reports today about Brazilian reactions regarding the new road that will not cut in half the TIPNIS. Some Brazilians still want to give the credit, so Bolivia can hire a Brazilian construction company which will employ most of its professionals from Brazil, leaving the less skilled jobs to a few Bolivians. The contract was awarded to a Brazilian company without the proper bidding procedures, it was just appointed.

Valor Economico, a Brazilian newspaper is quoted in El Dia’s article. A Brazilian official who wanted to remain anonymous said: Bolivia should have a timetable, a course of action, to define with precision the technical solution to environmental, financial, economical and political parameters of this process.

The Brazilian article, at the time of pinpointing the demands said Brazil needs “good will gestures” in issues like returning stolen vehicles back to Brazil; giving guarantees (land tenure) to those Brazilian farmers in Santa Cruz; continued fight against narcotrafficking and frontier surveillance/protection. All of the above, in order to improve Brazilian public opinion about this credit; and to pursue a “more positive” bilateral agenda.

There was the mention that around 150,000 hectares in Santa Cruz are currently owned by Brazilian entrepreneurs. Valor Economico assesses those hectares as been 10% of the total agricultural land in Santa Cruz; representing 60% of the total production.

The cost of the new road between Cochabamba and Beni, whose construction was awarded to the Brazilian enterprise OAS, was defined around $ 415 million dollars, of which $ 332 million will be funded by the National Bank of Social Economic Development (BNDES) from Brazil.

Valor Economico estimates that the road will have an additional  extension of 200 kilometers. The original route had 360 kilometers. [in previous posts on this issue, I mentioned this as the Environmental Economics concept: “internalizing the externalities” Nothing wrong about it, just giving the right value of protecting our environment]

El Dia report ends with comments from a former Bolivian diplomat, who qualifies those Brazilian demands as direct interference in our domestic issues.

UNITEL news program showed around 20:15 tonight, an interview with Brazilian Ambassador, Marcel Biato denying there are pressures around the financing of that road. Although, he acknowledged the stolen vehicles and investment security for Brazilian entrepreneurs in Santa Cruz, he said they are different issues.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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