Bolivia’s Top Trading Partners

La Paz monument, Bolivia

La Paz monument

Bolivia shipped US$7.1 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. That figure represents roughly 0.04% of overall global exports estimated at $16.236 trillion for the prior year 2015.

From a continental perspective, $3.4 billion or 47.4% of Bolivian exports by value were delivered to other Latin American (excluding Mexico) or Caribbean countries while 24.3% were sold to Asian importers. Bolivia shipped another 15.5% worth of goods to North America, with 10.8% arriving in Europe.

Bolivia’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Bolivia’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Bolivian shipments by dollar value during 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Bolivian exports.

  1. Brazil: US$1.4 billion (19.2% of total Bolivian exports)
  2. United States: $964.5 million (13.6%)
  3. Argentina: $806.3 million (11.4%)
  4. Colombia: $625.2 million (8.8%)
  5. China: $473.3 million (6.7%)
  6. Japan: $417.3 million (5.9%)
  7. South Korea: $384.5 million (5.4%)
  8. Peru: $338.6 million (4.8%)
  9. Belgium: $324 million (4.6%)
  10. United Arab Emirates: $199.9 million (2.8%)
  11. Australia: $140.3 million (2%)
  12. India: $122.2 million (1.7%)
  13. Canada: $108.6 million (1.5%)
  14. Spain: $96.1 million (1.4%)
  15. Netherlands: $87.2 million (1.2%)

Over nine-tenths (91.1%) of Bolivian exports in 2016 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Importers in the United Arab Emirates increased their import purchases from Bolivia at the highest percentage, up an astounding 62,367% from 2009 to 2016. India boosted its imports from Bolivia by 4,288% over the same period, trailed by Australia (up 288.9%) and China (up 262.4%).

Three countries reduced their imports from Bolivia, South Korea (down -22.3%), Brazil (down -18.2%) and Spain (down -0.7%).

Deficits

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports. Overall, Bolivia realized a -$1.3 billion deficit in 2016 reversing an $887.8 million trade surplus during 2009.

In 2016, Bolivia incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. China: -US$1.2 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2016)
  2. Chile: -$268.9 million
  3. Peru: -$246.8 million
  4. Mexico: -$197.8 million
  5. France: -$138.1 million
  6. Thailand: -$125.2 million
  7. Brazil: -$118.2 million
  8. Germany: -$117.1 million
  9. Sweden: -$81 million
  10. Argentina: -$76.4 million

Among Bolivia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Bolivian deficits with Peru (up 694%), Thailand (up 592.9%), China (up 403.9%) and France (up 394.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Bolivia’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Bolivia to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

In 2016, Bolivia incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. Colombia: US$430.4 million (country-specific trade surplus in 2016)
  2. Belgium: $295.3 million
  3. South Korea: $293.7 million
  4. United Arab Emirates: $198.2 million
  5. United States: $146.5 million
  6. Australia: $134.6 million
  7. Netherlands: $66.3 million
  8. Canada: $57.1 million
  9. Ecuador: $31.3 million
  10. United Kingdom: $29.4 million

Among Bolivia’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Bolivian surpluses with United Arab Emirates (up 115,781%), Ecuador (up 1,381%) and Australia (up 359.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Bolivia’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Bolivia to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Bolivian Trading Partners

Not one Bolivian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015.

Wikipedia lists some exporting companies from Bolivia. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos (air cargo)
  • Boliviana de Aviación (airlines)
  • Línea Aérea Amaszonas (airlines)
  • Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz (financial services)
  • Banco Nacional de Bolivia (financial services)
  • YPFB (oil, gas)


 
See also Bolivia’s Top 10 Exports, Highest Value Bolivian Export Products and Capital Facts for La Pas and Sucre, Bolivia

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 25, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 25, 2017

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on February 25, 2017

Wikipedia, Category: Banks of Bolivia. Accessed on February 25, 2017

Wikipedia, Oil and Gas Companies of Bolivia. Accessed on February 25, 2017

Wikipedia, Airlines of Bolivia. Accessed on February 25, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 25, 2017