Bolivia to expel Coca-Cola in wake of 2012 Mayan “apocalypse.”

Bolivia, August 1, 2012: The headlines read; “End of capitalism” Bolivia to expel Coca-Cola in wake of 2012 Mayan “apocalypse.”

Rumor traveled fast in cocktail parties throughout South America that Evo Morales, Bolivia’s President, was trying to do what Peru’s President, Juan Velasco Alverado, had failed to accomplish in 1970, kick out Coke.

Murcadom’s President, Jock Chamberlain, who is very familiar with Coca-Cola in Bolivia, is not too worried about Bolivia’s posturing. After all, Coca-Cola began importing coca leaves from South America for its original formula going back to 1919.

Already, Bolivia’s foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, has softened his tone and claimed that statements were taken out of context and that natural soft drinks were better for your health (compared to Coca-Cola).

It seems the Sr. Choquehuanca and New York’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, have a lot in common when it comes to soft drinks.

Latin America and the Global Corruption Index

Latin America Update: December 7, 2011

Global Corruption Index

Chile is the least corrupt country in the Americas according to Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perception Index. Chile (Rank 22) is considered even less corrupt than the United States (Rank 24), Uruguay (Rank 25), and much less corrupt than Venezuela (Rank 172).

GDP Growth Rates

Latin America is expected to grow 4.4% for 2011. Peru experienced a 6.5% GDP growth rate in Q3 2011 vs. 2% in the United States.

Did you know?

Bolivia which boasts one of the smallest GDP’s in Latin America ($19.3 Billion USD) has the largest natural reserve of lithium in the world. Soon you’ll be seeing descendants of the Incas driving Rolls-Royces.

Latin America Economies will Grow 4.2% in 2012

Latin America Update: May 2011

Politics:

Hugo Chavez’s increased moderation is a sign that “Chavismo” in Latin America is losing political power.  Bilateral relations include prudent negotiations over anti-drug policies with the government of new Colombian president Juan Manual Santos.  Peruvian presidential canditate Ollanta Humala (election on June 5th) is distancing himself from Hugo Chavez amid claims from the news media that his political adenda is closely related to Hugo Chavez.  Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s May 6th constitutional referendum was met with enough oposition that Hugo Chavez cancelled a celebratory visit to Ecuador this week. Hugo Chavez is up for re-election in December of 2012.

Economy:

According to IMF data, the economies of Latin America will grow 4.7 % in 2011 and 4.2 % in 2012, led by the export of raw materials from South America.  Inflation and overvalued currencies are the major economic concerns in the region.  Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff identifies an inflation rate of 6.44% as the primary concern for her government. Venezuela leads with 28% inflation followed by Argentina with annual inflation of 10%.  Uruguay follows with inflation of 8.17%.  High demand for commodities and a weak US dollar contribute to strong currencies through the region.

Export to Bolivia

Bolivia

Population: 9.8 Million
Total Imports: $392 Million
US Imports: $5 Billion (8%)

Bolivia, South America’s poorest and least industrialized country, remains a challenging place to do business. Weak judicial security, arbitrary regulatory decisions, corruption, cumbersome bureaucratic procedures, and political pressure to abrogate contracts may adversely affect companies’ operations. U.S. exporters to Bolivia are advised to perform their risk-return calculations carefully, mindful of these uncertainties.

Market Opportunities

The best sales prospects involve medium-sized open pit mines and small- and medium-sized alluvial gold mining operations. For medium-sized open pit operations, the best prospects include drills, crushers, pulverizers, conveyors, compressors, front-loaders, bulldozers, 15- to 30-ton heavy-duty trucks, gravimetric or flotation concentrators, and pumps.

In the small-scale sector, the best prospects include small jack-leg drills, front-loaders, crushers, concentration tables, flotation concentrators, hand tools, and explosives.