According to businesscarriers, Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America. According to official data, in 2002 the GDP was 7.79 billion US dollars (883 dollars per capita). GDP growth – 2.75% in 2002 and 1.51% in 2001. Inflation 2.45% (2002). In 2001, the economically active population numbered 2.5 million people, the total unemployment rate was 8.5%. Part-time employment is widespread.
Agriculture accounts for 11.4% of GDP, industry accounts for 32.2% (including 17.7% for manufacturing and 7.4% for mining), and 56.4% for services.
One of the leading sectors of the economy is the mining industry (the extraction of tin, antimony, zinc, silver, gold), and oil and gas production is increasing. The manufacturing industry is represented by factories that smelt tin, antimony and bismuth. Oil refineries operate mainly for the domestic market. Small-scale handicraft and semi-handicraft production prevails in the food, textile, shoe, clothing, tobacco, and woodworking industries.
A significant part of the country’s territory is of little use for the development of agriculture (arable land makes up only 1.73%, the area of irrigated land is 1280 km2). Agricultural products include coffee, cocoa beans, tropical fruits, natural rubber, quinine, sugar cane, soybeans, potatoes, corn, wheat, rice, and cotton. An important place in agriculture is occupied by the production of narcotic crops. In 2002, the approximate area of coca plantations was 24,400 hectares, according to this indicator, Bolivia ranked 3rd in the world. The traditional industry is grazing. Cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas are bred.
In 2000, electricity generation was 3.87 billion kWh. OK. 1/2 of it is produced in hydroelectric power plants. The transport network of the country is extremely poorly developed, communication between some regions of the country is absent or extremely difficult. The length of the road network is 49.4 thousand km, but only 2,500 km are paved roads and only 30 km are modern expressways. The length of railways is 3691 km. The length of oil pipelines is 1800 km, gas pipelines are 1495 km. The merchant fleet includes 36 ships. There are 12 airports in the country with paved runways.
The telephone remains the main means of communication. To the beginning In 2003, there were 563.9 thousand telephone subscribers and 872.6 thousand mobile phones. Internet users 78 thousand (2000).
Bolivia has no foreign exchange controls. The US dollar is the legal means of savings and payments. Up to 90% of deposits and 85% of loans are denominated in dollars. Foreign and Bolivian companies have equal access to loans from financial institutions. There are no quantitative and temporary restrictions on the export of capital and profits.
The standard of living of the population is extremely low. St. 65% urban and approx. 90% of the rural population lives below the poverty line. The minimum wage is approx. $69 Bolivia is characterized by high social polarization: in con. 1990s the poorest 10% accounted for only 1% of GDP, while the wealthiest 10% accounted for 46%.
In 2002, Bolivian exports amounted to 1370.3 million US dollars, imports 1708.1 million US dollars. Public external debt 4302 million US dollars (2003). The main trading partners (2002,%): in terms of exports – Brazil (19.6), Japan (15.6), Venezuela (14), USA (12.5) and Colombia (10.8); in terms of imports – Brazil (23.2), USA (16.8), Argentina (14.2), EU (8.9) and Japan (5.7). Exports to the Russian Federation amounted to 0.1 million US dollars, imports to 0.3 million US dollars. The main export items are soybeans, gas, zinc, gold products, precious woods; imports – foodstuffs, finished products, raw materials and semi-finished products, chemicals, machinery and equipment.
Bolivia has one of the most liberal regimes in the field of foreign trade and foreign investment. The special consumption tax applies only to luxury items. There are no restrictions for foreign investors who can operate throughout the country, in all sectors of the economy and are not subject to the mandatory registration procedure. Bolivia has 9 free trade zones.
Science and culture of Bolivia
Universities are the centers of science, education and culture. The largest of these are the Bolivian Main University of San Andres in La Paz, the Bolivian Main and Pontifical University of San Francisco Javier in Sucre, the Bolivian Main University of San Simon in Cochabamba and the Bolivian Technical University in Oruro. The total number of students is 111.4 thousand in 1991 and 212.4 thousand in 2000. Research centers also exist at a number of ministries and companies. The National Academy of Sciences performs coordinating functions.
The National Library and Archives are located in Sucre, its branch in La Paz is in the same building as the Library of the National Congress. Universities have relatively large library collections.
The largest museums are the National Archaeological Museum and the National Museum of Art (La Paz), the Anthropological Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Historical Museum (Sucre), the National Museum of the Mint (Potosi).
In con. 19th century in Bolivian literature, costumbrism, revealing national traditions, and indigenism, reflecting the problems of the indigenous population, became widespread; at the beginning of the last century, modernism and realism; at the turn of the 21st century. – philosophical and psychological novels.
After gaining independence, costumbrism and academicism dominated in painting, in the 2nd half. 20th century figurative and abstract painting. All areas of literature and art are closely related to national themes. Most musicians combine national elements and traditional style with avant-garde techniques and means in their work.