A country’s resources can do it a great deal of economic good providing politics don’t get in the way. This is the case with Bolivia the poorest country in South America. Thanks to foreign investment in exploration, Bolivia has the opportunity to capitalize on having the continent's second-largest gas reserves outside Venezuela. Politics unfortunately is ruining Bolivia’s chances of continued foreign investment and free-market policies espoused by the country since the mid-1980s which delivered steady economic growth—but not enough to dent poverty.
Counter-reform—or muddle along? highlights some of the political battles that are having a certain impact on foreign investment and growth. The battle is certain to include an increase in taxes on multinationals with fields in Bolivia, who include Spain's Repsol-YPF, Brazil's Petrobras and Britain's BP and BG Group. The industry has invested some $3.5 billion since 1997. Oil and gas producers say that the government already takes 69% of their pre-tax profits; in 2003 these totaled $122m on revenues of $806m. The government also wants to increase its say over the destination and price of exports of oil and gas. And it wants to revive the state oil company, giving it a stake in all future projects.
Pride will cause economic growth to come to a standstill in Bolivia and no doubt will have a negative long term affect on future.