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8/1/09

Bolivia leads South America

Scrawny, mouthy, opinionated people like your humble correspondent have been saying it for a while, but now the people that really matter are daring to say the unsayable:

Bolivia is the fastest growing country in the region.

Bolivia has a strong economy and low inflation

Bolivia is riding out the financial crisis better than any other regional state.

Yesterday the Bolivian Central Bank (BCB) published its half-year report. You can go look for yourself right here, but what you'll find is an economy that will grow by 4% this year (the first half of 2009 saw 2.1% growth acording to head honcho at the BCB, Gabriel Loza, mainly due to the productive sectors). Loza sez:
"The perspective is that growth in the Bolivian economy will continue, we are talking of rates around 4% and therefore Bolivia will not suffer a recession as in other regional countries."
Bolivia also has an economy with inflation reeled in to just 2.1% (again, thanks largely to wise economic policy) and international currency reserves at all-time highs. Not only that, but Bolivia's exchange rate has, in the words of Loza:
"...has avoided unnecessary exchange volatility. Our exchange rate, which is not fixed but a regimen of administered exchange, has shown a moderated, stable and non-volatile behaviour."
Yet again, this is why you never hear about the Bolivian economy in English language media. It's going far too well, y'see. And all this stability and strength has its roots in one, single policy decision from the government of Evo Morales: Nationalize hydrocarbons. And another smart thing that Evo has done is to leave the financial experts to run the finances and not stick his nose in, as the guy knows what he's good at and what he's not good at.

I'm evermore convinced that Evo scares the hell out of the blue-eyed whiteys more than Hugo could ever manage. He's not changing the rules but doing something far, far more dangerous and subversive: He's beating them at their own game.