An Editorial from El Diario:
The government, with a view to obtaining investments, on both the part of United States, England, Germany and Canada, organized meetings with businessmen and capitalists in each capital of those countries and tried to encourage them and give them assurances so that they invest financial capital, technology and human capital in Bolivia; but, even for more efforts made, no positive result was achieved. According to business leaders of the country, “there are no conditions that are attractive for investments” and this is a determining factor so that there are no proper answers.
In New York, it was the President of the Republic who met with American capitalists; in Germany and England, the Minister of Economy and in Canada, the Minister of Mining; but they did not achieve any results and found answers with the criterion that “there would not be conditions that guarantee investments.” Indeed, the situation is uncertain due to the salary increases undergoing changes, the second Christmas bonus, the type and quality of taxes charged, the defaulters procedures that must be carried out, the contraband and other factors that are decisive so that there is no encouragement or wishes to install industries or businesses in Bolivia.
The failures in those procedures that, in addition, cost a lot to the national budget, are clear and the regrettable thing is that the government does not change its policies and they follow the same obstacles, the same difficulties and, above all, greater opportunity for smuggling; on the other hand, last year a second Christmas bonus had to be paid and the provision remains in the sense that “if the growth is 4.5% or more, the benefit payment will continue” (ED 19-XII-18).
ECLAC has explained that “Bolivia’s largest resources were for hydrocarbons, although in very small amounts between 110 and 90 million dollars in 2017.” This is a reality that comparatively with the investments received by Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and other countries, the investment in our country is minimal and does not give rise to certainty that this could change in the immediate future. For the interim, the government will have to change everything that holds back investment and not only to foreign but, especially, to internal, since, equally, it does not allow any security to employers.
If you really want to attract investment, there will have to be precise and durable guarantees; changes in tax regulations that are high, changes in the bureaucracy that should not mean the flight of investors, avoid extraordinary payments such as the double Christmas bonus; fight decisively and effectively to smuggle. Anyway, this will cancel provisions that make investment impossible, the results will not be immediate and, as is logical, there will be waiting to see that the government can be trusted and the measures adopted. It is, then, necessary that the country is reliable, credible and serious in its economy referring to investments.
Bolivian Thoughts opinion: After wasting over $180 billion dollars and increasing also our debt, evo failed to promote, let alone, create a single sustainable job. His Economics minister is a delusional utopist socialist who plays with macroeconomic data and distorts reality! That is why NO one dares to invest in Bolivia … ask Jacob Ostreicher if in doubt!