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  • Bolivia continues to be a development model in the region under the presidency of Evo Morales.

    Bolivia continues to be a development model in the region under the presidency of Evo Morales. | Photo: Reuters

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Stability in oil prices, new natural gas reserves, and a diversification of exports will boost Bolivia's economy according to President Morales.

Bolivia's government announced Thursday an improvement in the growing rate of the economy in 2017, since it expects oil and other natural resource prices to gain stability.

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President Evo Morales said that the natural gas reserves will grow in 2017, especially in Chuquisaca, in southern Bolivia, that could become the country's most important reserve and make the Andean country a leader in energy in Latin America.

According to the Economy Minister Luis Arce, 2016 was a difficult year due to international oil prices, but the coming year will be more positive and stable.

"Oil is growing stable, that's why we believe 2017 will be a year in which we'll find the Bolivian economy much better than this year, and that encourages us," said Arce.

According to Arce, Bolivia will continue to be a growth model in 2017 for the region, keeping in mind that in an "adverse international context due to low oil prices, Bolivia's economy still expanded."

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Political adviser for Bolivia's Central Bank, Raul Mendoza, said the country will receive higher revenues due to more exports to Brazil and Argentina, an increase in prices in hydrocarbons, adding that international organizations say the price of a barrel of oil will reach more than US$50 in 2017.

This estimate is above the US$45 figure used by the economy ministry to draft the state's budget according to Mendoza.

The hike in prices will be felt in 6 to 12 months in the Bolivian economy. Mendoza said that due to the nature of the contracts, "the prices that we get for gas exports to Argentina and Brazil have a delay of up to 9 months."

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