The staff report for Bolivia’s 2009 Article IV Consultation describes economic developments and policies. The impact of the global recession on Bolivia has been milder than in other countries in the region. Lower commodity exports and remittances have resulted in a sharp narrowing of the external current account surplus. The financial system has been barely affected by the global crisis owing to its limited integration with international capital markets. As the economy gathers momentum, a tighter monetary policy is needed to reduce the risks of excessive credit creation, foreign-exchange pressures, and a pick-up in inflation.
Well-balanced macroeconomic policies, accompanied by an improvement in terms of trade during recent years, have allowed Bolivia to achieve very positive macroeconomic results. The 2012 Article IV Consultation highlights that the outlook for 2012 is favorable and short-term downside risks are manageable. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to continue growing at a fast pace, reflecting still high terms of trade and mildly expansionary policies. The external current account and the fiscal balance are expected to remain in surplus.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that Bolivia’s overall fiscal position has improved in 2008. Booming hydrocarbon and mining exports, together with high remittance inflows, led to a record-high current account surplus and large reserve accumulation, with major pressures on monetary/exchange rate policy during the first three quarters of 2008. Executive Directors have noted that strong hydrocarbon and mining exports have continued to support Bolivia’s growth and macroeconomic performance. Directors have also emphasized the importance of well-designed structural reforms for further strengthening Bolivia’s fiscal position.
Bolivia showed a solid macroeconomic performance in recent years, owing to its strong trade and prudent economic policies. IMF staff stressed the need to tighten monetary conditions through increasing the policy interest rate as a means to combat inflation. The Executive Board praised authorities for their sound macroeconomic management, and concurred that structural reform and increased investment will enhance economic growth. However, the crisis management framework could be strengthened with a deposit insurance scheme to protect small depositors in the event of bank liquidation.
This Selected Issues paper on Bolivia reports that it has experienced major increases in its gas reserves, production, and exports. Not only have their levels increased significantly, but also there have been extensive regulatory changes, which range from the privatization of the mid-1990s to the increase in the government’s tax take from the hydrocarbons industry. The government has reached new agreements with foreign oil companies that will allow foreign companies to continue recovering part of their old investments.
This paper analyzes Bolivia’s growth performance with a focus on the regional and sectoral patterns of growth, and examines the sources of growth. It discusses the evolution of the hydrocarbon sector, its importance in the economy, and reforms. It also analyzes the intergovernmental fiscal relations system and changes to the revenue sharing arrangements, and suggests possible areas for reform. It assesses measures of reserve adequacy in Bolivia and also provides a look at the external debt after the applications of the main debt relief plans in the past 10 years.