Bolivia is located in the central western section of the South American continent and has no direct access to the ocean. The country is bordered by Brazil to the east and north, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, and Chile and Peru to the west. Bolivia's small population of 7.8 million ( 1992) inhabits a 1.1 million kml land area about the size of Texas and California combined. Approximately half of the population lives in urban areas. Average annual population growth from 1989 to 2000 is projected to be 2.8 percent -- higher than the rest of Latin America. 1
Since the election in June 1993, the new government has attempted to cut fiscal expenditure and increase revenue in order to reduce fiscal deficits. Privatization is a high priority, including all nationalized industries. Meanwhile, the government is looking for more support from external sources such as the International Monetary Fund. The estimated GDP growth in 1993 was 3.6 percent, slightly higher than the growth in 1992. The 1993 inflation is estimated at 9.5 percent, lower than the 10.5 percent registered in 1992 and 14.5 percent in 1991. 2
Bolivian trade policy has become more liberal in recent years as the country moves toward free trade. Tariffs on imports have been cut repeatedly; as a result, Bolivia has the lowest tariffs in the Andean region. Natural gas is the country's largest single export; of the US$760 million in total 1991 Bolivian export revenue, natural gas accounted for 29.4 percent. In 1991, neighboring Argentina was Bolivia's largest market for exports, followed by the United States. The United States is the largest merchandise exporter to Bolivia.
Bolivia is a net energy exporter. While total primary energy production reached 147,300 boe/d in 1991, primary energy consumption was only 63,000