In 1998, Bolivia's exports were valued at US$1.103 billion and imports totaled US$1.983 billion. (The CIA World Factbook indicates 2000 trade figures of US$1.26 billion in exports and US$1.86 billion in imports.) Chief trading partners for exports were the European Union (16 percent), the United States (12 percent), Peru (11 percent), Argentina (10 percent), and Colombia (7 percent). Imports were from the United States (32 percent), Japan (24 percent), Brazil (15 percent), Argentina (11 percent), Peru (4 percent), and Germany (3 percent). The Central Bank of Bolivia reports that the United States is the largest trading partner when both exports and imports are considered.
Bolivia is a member of the Andean Community (along with Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru) that is supposedly free of trade barriers. Since 1994, Bolivia has had a free trade agreement with Mexico. The EU, Japan, and the United States all permit Bolivian exports to enter their market free or at reduced rates. Bolivia
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Bolivia|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|
ratified membership in GATT in 1990 and in 1995 in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Bolivia is an associate member of MERCOSUR, which gives it trade benefits with the 11 members of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI). By 2007, 95 percent of the trade with MERCOSUR will be tariff free. Bolivia is also a signatory to the Amazonic Cooperation River Basin Treaty. Bolivia has 9 Free Trade Zones (FTZ) fully operating. The most important are El Alto (serving La Paz), Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Desaguadero on the border with Peru, and the dynamic Puerto Aguiffe on the Brazilian border.