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Bolivia aims to join Mercosur trade bloc - Features - Al Jazeera English
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - To go down fighting in the Andean Community (CAN), with a combined market of 92 million consumers, or move up to the big leagues of Mercosur, with 275 million? This was the dilemma faced by Bolivia's foreign trade strategists when it came to pursuing full membership in the bloc formed by its neighbours to the south.

The contrast is remarkable: last year, Bolivia's exports to its partners in CAN - Colombia, Ecuador and Peru - totalled $774m, resulting in a trade surplus of $88m.

In the meantime, Bolivia purchased $2.427bn in goods from the countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), while its sales to the bloc - excluding the main export, natural gas - were a mere $232m, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics.

It should be kept in mind, as well, that these figures refer to trade with the founding members of Mercosur - Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay - and do not include Venezuela, which did not become a full member until mid-year.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:35:28 PM EST
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