Year over year, the latest overall amount of Bolivian exports accelerated by 57.2% compared to $7 billion during 2020.
Adopting a continental lens, 40.5% of Bolivian exports by value were delivered to importers in Asia. Close behind in second place at 40.1% were Bolivia’s fellow Latin American countries excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Another 10.3% was sold to importers in Europe, with 7.4% going to North America.
Tinier percentages were destined for buyers in Oceania (1.7%) led by Australia, and Africa (0.1%).
Bolivia’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Bolivia’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Bolivian shipments by dollar value during 2021. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Bolivian exports.
- India: US$1.8 billion (16.6% of total Bolivian exports)
- Brazil: $1.4 billion (13%)
- Argentina: $1 billion (9.5%)
- Japan: $916.1 million (8.3%)
- Colombia: $710.8 million (6.4%)
- China: $657 million (6%)
- Peru: $637.5 million (5.8%)
- United States: $545.6 million (4.9%)
- South Korea: $435.3 million (3.9%)
- United Arab Emirates: $400.3 million (3.6%)
- Netherlands: $290.8 million (2.6%)
- Ecuador: $288.7 million (2.6%)
- Italy: $269.7 million (2.4%)
- Canada: $231.4 million (2.1%)
- Chile: $190.2 million (1.7%)
Almost nine-tenths (89.5%) of Bolivian exports in 2021 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
India increased its import purchases of Bolivia’s exported goods at the highest percentage, up 154.6% from 2020 to 2021. In second place was Italy (up 132.5%), South Korea (up 117.7%), mainland China (up 83.3%), Ecuador (up 76.7%), Japan (up 73.7%), and the United States of America (up 73.5%).
Countries Causing Bolivia’s Worst Trade 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.
In 2021, Bolivia incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$1.3 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2021)
- Chile: -$439.8 million
- Brazil: -$261.7 million
- Argentina: -$227.6 million
- Mexico: -$183.5 million
- Peru: -$171.1 million
- Germany: -$109.9 million
- Switzerland: -$85.4 million
- Singapore: -$84.9 million
- Sweden: -$84.2 million
Among Bolivia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Bolivian deficits with Switzerland (up 460.6%), Brazil (up 196.4%) and Chile (up 163.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
In addition, Bolivia went from posting a $313 million surplus with Argentina to experiencing the above deficit.
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.
Countries Generating Bolivia’s Best Trade Surpluses
Bolivia realized an overall $1.5 billion surplus in 2021, reversing -$64.7 million in red ink one year earlier in 2020.
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 2021, Bolivia earned the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- India: US$1.6 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2021)
- Japan: $730.5 million
- Colombia: $539.7 million
- United Arab Emirates: $392.7 million
- South Korea: $368.7 million
- Ecuador: $242.4 million
- Canada: $203.3 million
- Netherlands: $199.3 million
- Italy: $185.1 million
- Australia: $178.9 million
Among Bolivia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Bolivian deficits with Italy (up 262%), India (up 200.3%) and South Korea (up 141.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
These positive cashflow streams 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 Servicing Bolivian Trading Partners
Not one Bolivian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists some exporting companies from Bolivia. Selected examples are shown below:
- Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz (financial services)
- Banco Nacional de Bolivia (financial services)
- Boliviana de Aviación (airlines)
- Línea Aérea Amaszonas (airlines)
- Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos (air cargo)
- YPFB (oil, gas)
See also Bolivia’s Top 10 Exports, Bolivia’s Top 10 Imports and Top South American Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, The World Factbook. Accessed on September 21, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 21, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 21, 2022
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on September 21, 2022
Wikipedia, Bolivia. Accessed on September 21, 2022
Wikipedia, Airlines of Bolivia. Accessed on September 21, 2022
Wikipedia, Category: Banks of Bolivia. Accessed on September 21, 2022
Wikipedia, Oil and Gas Companies of Bolivia. Accessed on September 21, 2022