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  • President Evo Morales visits Bolivia

    President Evo Morales visits Bolivia's Bulo Bulo power plant in the department of Cochabamba. | Photo: Bolivian Government

Published 1 January 2016

Bolivia is the largest exporter of natural gas in South America, and aims to increase exports to boost the country's economy this year.

Bolivia took the first steps on Friday to increase its liquefied natural gas exports in 2016, with further plans to continue to hike exports late this year, Prensa Latina reported.

President Evo Morales has explained that LNG exports will increase dramatically in the first seven months of the year to boost the economy in the South American country.

“From the month of January we will start gas exports of 1.5 million cubic metres daily and from July we’ll take it to more than six million cubic metres to strengthen our economy,” Morales said in the eastern department of Santa Cruz on Thursday.

WATCH: Bolivia Invests Gas Revenue in Major Infrastructure Projects

Santa Cruz’s town of Rio Grande, in Cordillera province, is home to an LNG plant set to export to Peru and Paraguay in 2016, El Pais reported.

Argentina and Brazil will also be major importers of Brazilian gas, receiving a combined total of over 47 cubic metres per day, according to 2016 national budget projections.  

Morales also said that increased oil production, if combined with an increase in global oil prices, could also positively impact the economy.

Morales has stressed the importance of ensuring the country’s resource sovereignty and fighting attempts by some Western powers to control natural resources, especially oil and gas reserves.

ANALYSIS: Bolivian Independence from the World Bank and IMF

Bolivia has invested revenue from state-owned oil and gas resources to fund social programs aimed at reducing poverty and inequality and other projects to improve the quality of life in Bolivia.

But the South American country has also been on key advocate in promoting climate reparations, which would see wealthy industrialized countries and corporations, historically responsible for fueling climate change, pay poorer countries in the global south to fulfill their climate debts and fund a global transition to clean energy.

Bolivia is the largest exporter of natural gas in South America.

WATCH: Extractivism, Climate Justice and Latin America

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