Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How smart countries do business with Bolivia

Evo with the Spanish royal family

Craving all the profits to be made in South America's leading economy? Well, when Evo says Bolivia wants partners and not bosses, to be treated with respect and as equals, you might want to listen. The Spanish seem to be starting, and they are not know for their history of treating the their former colony very well.

Spain has suspended 60% of Bolivian debt to the country, offered157 million euros in aid, and then wouldn't you be surprised, the Spanish oil firm Repsol gets to invest 1.6 billion dollars in Bolivia's state energy firm. Does not look like Spanish capital is getting the short end of the stick to me. But if you read the loser English language press Morales is all communism somehow.

Hey whitey, maybe it is time you woke up and realized you are living in a different world.


Otto Rock said...

exactamundo, fonzie

Bina said...

Bet the king didn't tell HIM to shut up, either. Even though, from what I've seen on ABI and Aporrea, Evo certainly made with the uppity rhetoric.

Different world? I should say so.

Utpal said...

What was most interesting about the trip that he was giving some honor by the mayor of Madrid Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, who is PP (he is the most moderate leader PP has, but still ...).

Utpal said...

I meant "given", oops :)

El Duderino said...

Yeah, in addition to getting the "Gold Key" to the city, Evo was presented with his own Real Madrid jersey. The team/fan base is not know for their, er, progressive politics. (I have a feeling Evo was more impressed by the jersey.)

Nick said...

Obama is of course more of the same, especially on Latin America, but it would be naive to suggest that Spain or Europe's policies (which on trade, drugs and other foreign policies more important than Spain's particular posture) are much different.

The EU has been better at disguising their policies behind lofty rhetoric and small gestures (eg Spain's debt cancellation), but Bolivia's withdrawal from negotiating a trade agreement with the EU was precisely because the EU (including Spain) wanted a Free Trade Agreement that was primarily about benefiting EU multinationals and had nothing to do with improving living conditions in the Andean region.

I talked to a member of Bolivia's trade negotiating team, and he said that the EU refused to discuss any proposals that tied trade to development goals - and continued to insist on policies that would liberalise every sector of the economy including banking - and we know where that led us.

But this is a small point. Meanwhile love the blog, as always.

Un abrazo, Nick

El Duderino said...

Thank you for the insight as always Nick.