Analysis and Studies - Country Analysis

Bolivia: a look at the market

The name Bolivia comes from Simón Bolívar, who led the fight for independence from Spain (with Antonio José de Sucre), which has been gained in 1825, followed by political instability, frequent changes in leadership, and territorial disputes with neighboring countries. Democratic rule was established in 1982 and a period of political and economic reforms began, with Evo Morales (the first indigenous president) being the dominant figure from 2006 to 2019, when a contentious re-election led to protest and accusation of electoral fraud, forcing him to resign and exile.

Bolivia is known for its ethnic diversity, with a significant portion of the population being of indigenous descent, including Aymara, Quechua, and other groups. The administrative capital is La Paz, while Sucre is the legislative and judicial one.

The flag consists of three horizonal bands of three colors: red, yellow and green, which respectively stand for bravery and the blood of national heroes, the mineral resources, and the fertility of the land.



In the center there is the coat of arms, an oval figure with the name of the country, nine stars, the natural features and biodiversity, surrounded by many national flags: this represents the departments and landscape and it’s used only when it’s flown by the government. Since 2009 another flag has also been adopted, used alongside the traditional one: we’re talking about the wiphala, a square, multi-colored flag representing the country's indigenous peoples and resistance.

In 2022, Bolivia was the 93rd economy in total exports and the 119th  in total imports.

Bolivia has a high level of specialization in Zinc Ore ($1.68B), Raw Tin ($634M), Precious Metal Ore ($755M), Oil Seed Flower ($49.4M), and Soybean Oil ($874M)



In 2022 the most exported product was Petroleum Gas ($3.08B), ahead of Gold ($3.01B), Zinc Ore ($1.68B), Soybean Meal ($1.03B), and Soybean Oil ($874M), exporting mostly to India (16.5%), Brazil (13.7%), Argentina (12.8%), Colombia (7.69%), and Japan (7%).


The significant dependence on neighboring countries, particularly Brazil and Argentina, highlights the regional integration and interdependence in South America's energy sector. Whereas the exports of minerals to Asian and Middle Eastern countries underscore Bolivia's integration into global commodity markets.

Furthermore, agricultural exports reinforce the connections across South America, enhancing regional food security and strengthening agricultural trade networks.

  1. Petroleum Gas (22.4%): 54.1% Brazil, 43.6% Argentina, 1.33% Peru, 1.01% Paraguay
  2. Gold (21.9%): 75.2% India, 16.6% United Arab Emirates, 2.93% Italy, 2.57% Turkey, 2.26% Hong Kong
  3. Zinc Ore (12.2%): 47.8% Japan, 13% South Korea, 11.7% Belgium, 9.7% Australia, 4.51% China, 1.03% Peru
  4. Soybean Meal (7.5%): 53.7% Colombia, 29.7% Peru, 9.52% Chile, 2.72% Turkey,
  5. Soybean Oil (6.35%): 40.5% Colombia, 33.2% Ecuador. 20.6% Peru, 2.74% Chile

Whereas the most imported product was Refined Petroleum ($1.12B), followed by Cars ($359M), Pesticides ($266M), Delivery Trucks ($232M), and Raw Iron Bars ($225M), with Brazil being the major source (19.7%), ahead of China (19.3%), Chile (13%), Peru (8.74%), and Argentina (5.98%).


Bolivia strategically diversifies its imports, balancing between global dominant markets like China and neighboring countries. This diversified approach allows Bolivia to exploit both global market dynamics and regional trade benefits, enhancing economic cooperation within South America.

Furthermore, by avoiding reliance on any single nation, the country mitigates dependency risks while ensuring a stable supply of essential goods.

  1. Refined Petroleum (12.1%): 37% Chile, 19.3% Singapore, 15% Peru, 3.44% Argentina, 3.4% Switzerland, 3.15% Brazil
  2. Cars (3.86%): 23% China, 19.5% Brazil, 17% Japan, 5.74% Chile, 5.54% South Korea, 5.13% United States, 4.03% Hungary, 1.31% Argentina
  3. Pesticides (2.86%): 33.9% China, 18.3% Argentina, 11.7% Brazil, 9.84 Paraguay, 9.25% Uruguay, 3.24% Guatemala, 2.01% Peru
  4. Delivery Trucks (2.5%): 26.3% China, 19.6% Chile, 15.2% Argentina, 9.55% Thailand, 7.06% Japan, 5.98% Mexico, 5.04% Brazil
  5. Raw Iron Bars (2.42%): 56.2% Brazil, 42.4% Peru, 0.7% Argentina, 0.45% Ecuador

Between 2021 and 2022 the country which grew the fastest in exports was Argentina, with an increase of $722M, ahead of Brazil ($445M) and India ($412M).



  1. Argentina: from $1.04B to $1.76B
  2. Brazil: from $1.45B to $1.89B
  3. India: from $1.86B to $2.27B


Whereas as regards the imports, the country which saw a fastest growth was Chile, with an increase of $328M, followed by Brazil ($281M) and China ($247M).


  1. Chile: from $884M to $1.21B
  2. Brazil: from $1.56B to $1.84B
  3. China: from $1.55B to $1.8B