Bolivian exports to China reach $328 million in 2023

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Bolivia reached a milestone in its exports to China in 2023, reaching a surplus of $328 million, as reported by the Chinese Consul General, Wang Jialei, in his X account. This achievement represents an increase of 67.8% over the previous year, solidifying the trade relationship between the two countries.

According to official Chinese statistics, bilateral trade reached $2.6 billion in 2023, with imports from Bolivia totaling $1.5 billion and exports to the country reaching $1.1 billion. Consul Jialei emphasized that regardless of the deficit or surplus balance, trade is beneficial for both nations.

Bolivia’s Ambassador to China, Hugo Siles, indicated that this positive trend is expected to continue in 2024 with the introduction of new products to the Chinese market. On February 9, Bolivian President Luis Arce sent a congratulatory message to China on the occasion of the Year of the Dragon. Arce expressed his desire to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood to promote growth between the two countries.

As an example of this positive trend, Siles announced in January that exports of chia to China would begin in March, positioning Bolivia as the world’s leading exporter of this product. Siles emphasized that this agreement would double production and lead to a significant increase in export volume, estimated at $50 million. In addition, the Ambassador highlighted the potential to expand the export offering to include products such as wine and singani. The export process is expected to begin between March and April this year, once the corresponding protocol is signed.

Similarly, Bolivia recently signed a $90 million agreement with the Chinese consortium CBC for the construction of a pilot plant for the direct extraction of lithium. This agreement aims to capitalize on Bolivia’s potential in this key resource for the transition to clean energy. The plant, located in the Salar de Uyuni, contributes to joint efforts with China and Russia for the industrial exploitation of lithium, with exports expected to reach $5 billion this year.