Alberto Bonadona Cossio writes for Pagina Siete:
Can growth be achieved?
There are several economic and non-economic analysts who insist that Bolivia has a great opportunity of growth that does not take advantage. This assertion, which I share, refers to an average growth of 4.7% of recent years just over 0.1% to the capitalization period. A period which did not have the exuberance of the prices of the raw materials that still allow to enjoy an extraordinary flow of dollars.
It is precisely this wealth of resources entering the country since 2004 which is considered that should promote an exceptional take-off and that is the regret of concerned analysts, and it fails to generate. Why?
I think that there are various aspects that should be amended in the growth policy that should be changed. First is the emphasis of the industrialization of the country that, rather than go the way of the great heavy industry, should be directed toward a momentum of industrial activities for which Bolivia has the “most appropriate” resourcing. This endowment is certainly not that of minerals which, even though they possess in abundance, the possibility of industrialisation is made extremely complicated by requiring elaborate processes, for which there is neither capital nor the necessary human resources and less sufficient.
Therefore we must think in an industrialization according to what can be managed, as they are a number of agricultural products that are produced in the different ecological floors of Bolivia. There are products such as quinoa, amaranth, the copoasu, almonds, etc., with technology that must develop in Bolivia, or copy existing ones in other latitudes, process these products and, with added value, destined to high net-worth export market niches. The case of chocolate has already started this process successfully and found fewer obstacles outside the country than inside.
Agriculture with high yield seed should be encouraged in the same way. This assumes, of course, transgenic seeds which preserve certain favorable for reproduction characteristics. Not all GM is questionable and the geographical conditions and the needs of the Bolivian population required is to assume this important aspect of development. In the Bolivian East, has accumulated an extraordinary experience in the production of wheat, for example, and is shown as the way free to the national economy from the burden of importing this product.
The same can be done with other activities. For example, it should develop industry of housing construction based on the research and development of new building materials that break the traditional monopoly to allow the lowering of costs. It is not an impossible task and there are countries that have faced this situation in different ways.
Currently a great impetus is being given to infrastructure, which, obviously, is a breakthrough. But it is not enough to achieve the faster growth of the Bolivian economy, as evidenced with the growth levels achieved.
Alberto Bonadona Cossío is an economist.
In other words, what has this government done to improve? other than increase the levels of corruption, political persecution and curtailing freedom of speech? NOTHING!!!!