Bolivia: Lost decade II

Humberto Vacaflor writes in El Diaro:

Lost decade II

Humberto Vacaflor smallThe country received in the last ten years US $150,000 million, amount exceeding 20 times that received over the previous decade.

That was the result that the price of an ounce of gold troy has passed from 337 to 1,147 dollars on average between those two decades and that the silver has passed from 5.30 to 19.98 and the fine pound for tin went from 2.60 to 8.25 dollars annual average during both decades.

In addition, the price of natural gas that it sells to Brazil went from 1.50 to 6.20 dollars per million BTU between those two decades. In the case of zinc, between 1996 and 2005, the average price was $ 0.47 pound and between 2006 and 2015 the pound averaged $ 1.
Want to attribute all this to an alleged good management is taken for fools to Bolivians.
With a worrying detail: Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada Government paid $1.20 per million BTU to each oil company by each million BTU of gas produced and the Government of the MAS paid them $2.40.
And another more worrying detail even: Sanchez de Lozada forced them:
• to discover new fields, and
• to pay VAT, and
• to present an invoice for their services, and
• to pay taxes.
What the Government of the MAS did not.
That is to say that the oil companies were better with the Government of the MAS rather than the Government of Sanchez de Lozada, but invested less now that with Goñi.
Now, the Government of the MAS commits to sell higher volumes of gas to Brazil and Argentina because it desperately needs to increase revenues.
The approach of the Government is that if you increase the volume of export, increase income, even though the price has fallen as a result of the collapse of the oil price.
The problem is that the departmental Assembly of Tarija reached the conclusion that in the amount of money received by the country by concept of the sale of gas, 86% corresponds to the international price and only 13% volume.
That means that if you increase the volume of gas exported, there are only 13% of possibilities to increase the final price.
• When the development of lithium is paralyzed by the inefficiency of professionals who so far have spent US $200 million, and the Bolivian lithium is not taken into account in the world, the Government of Chile, as a gesture of goodwill, offers advice to form a consortium that export lithium from Bolivia and Chile.
Without having invested so much money, Chile is now the top exporter of the world lithium carbonate, according to the magazine The Economist. The magazine said that in Bolivia are 20% of the world’s reserves of lithium, in Argentina 18% and Chile  16%.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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