Plurinational State of Bolivia
Brazil confers priority to its relations with Bolivia, which comprise initiatives in areas such as energy cooperation, border cooperation and fight against transnational crimes, as well as coordination in regional and global fora. Brazil grants geostrategic importance to its relations with Bolivia, a country with which it shares its longest border (3,423 km) and the presence in both the Amazon and the Plata Basins. In addition, the strategic importance of Bolivia's accession to MERCOSUR is worthy of note.
Energy cooperation is particularly important for both countries, as it supports the Brazilian energy policy and is a source of income to Bolivia. The energy partnership was consolidated with the signing, in 1958, of the Roboré Agreements – which, for the first time, raised the question of the purchase of Bolivian gas and the building of a gas pipeline. In 1972, the Agreement on Cooperation and Industrial Complementation allowed for the purchase, by Brazil, of Bolivian natural gas and set up projects to strengthen Bolivia's economy. In the late 1980’s, Brazil's interest in Bolivian gas was resumed and a sense of permanence and cooperation was added to the energy partnership. In 1999, negotiations culminated in the implementation of the Bolivia-Brazil Gas Pipeline, which plays an important role in deepening bilateral relations and in creating opportunities for the economic insertion of Bolivia in MERCOSUR.
Bolivia is a country with a stable macroeconomic environment and ample potential for economic growth. Its territorial extent is about 1.1 million km2 and its population amounts to about 10.8 million. The IMF estimates that Bolivia's GDP reached USD 35 billion in 2015.
The main axes of economic integration with Brazil are productive integration in the energy area and regional infrastructure projects. Because it is geographically located in the center of South America, Bolivia is a privileged partner for the improvement of the infrastructure for regional integration.
Brazil is historically Bolivia’s main trade partner. It is the first destination of Bolivian exports due to the sale of natural gas, and the second source of imports. Economic relations with Brazil have fostered Bolivian development due to Brazil's economic presence in the country in terms of trade surplus, investments and remittances of immigrants.
Bolivia is the only South American Country that has consistently presented, since 2003, trade surplus with Brazil, due to massive gas exports (98% of total exports). Brazilian exports to Bolivia are basically composed of manufactured goods (96.4% in 2015), especially iron bars, petroleum bitumen, electrical conductors, tractors, locomotives, wooden furniture, rice, footwear and fungicides. Brazil is an important source of investments and a promising consumer market for Bolivian mineral wealth and energy products.
In 2015, Brazilian exports to Bolivia decreased 8% (from US$ 1.6 billion to USD 1.5 billion) while imports decreased 34.3% (from USD 3.8 billion to USD 2.5 billion) in relation to 2014. Brazilian deficit in 2015 was just over USD 1 billion, 51.5% decrease compared to the previous year. The reduction of Bolivia's surplus in 2015 is associated to the fall in sales price of natural gas to Brazil, indexed to the WTI oil price.
Brazil and Bolivia are engaged in the development of an important border integration policy, with the purpose of making the border area into a space of peace, cooperation, and economic and social development. In 2011, “Border Integration Committees” were created, with the aim of finding solutions to specific border area issues. Meetings of the Committees which operate in Corumbá/Puerto Suárez (2011), Brasileia-Epitaciolândia/Cobija (2012), Cáceres/San Matías (2013) and Guajará-Mirim/Guayaramerín (2013) were held. This new border integration policy seeks to bring concrete improvements to the local population.
The permanent dialogue with the Bolivian Government is also important to address cross-cutting challenges whose solution requires coordinated action. Joint monitoring is exercised in the areas of fight against poverty; development and control of border regions; fight against transnational crime, and the world drug problem. The increase of cooperation in the fight against transnational crime, particularly in the context of the drug problem, is remarkable, as illustrated by the establishment of a Brazil-Bolivia-Peru cooperation agenda.
Chronology of Bilateral Relations
1825 – Declaration of the Independence of Bolivia
1867 – Treaty of La Paz de Ayacucho establishes the Madeira-Javari line as common border
1872 – Chile and Bolivia break off diplomatic relations. Brazil represents Bolivia in Santiago
1879 – Beginning of the Pacific War. Brazil remains neutral
1884 – End of the Pacific War against Chile. Bolivia loses access to the Pacific Ocean
1899 – Former Spanish diplomat Luís Galvez R. Arias proclaims the independence of Acre
1902 – Plácido de Castro Revolution in Acre (60 thousand Brazilians oppose the Bolivian Government and the leasing of Acre to the U.S. Bolivian Syndicate)
1903 – Modus Vivendi on Acre is signed with Bolivia for cessation of hostilities
1903 – Petrópolis Treaty. Acre is incorporated to Brazil, which pays compensation of 2 million pounds to Bolivia and undertakes to build the Madeira-Mamoré railroad
1912 – Inauguration of the Madeira-Mamoré railroad
1932-1935 – Chaco War. Bolivia is defeated by Paraguay
1958 – Roboré Agreements (oil exploration, railroad works and economic cooperation)
1969 – Plata Basin Treaty (Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay)
1992 – Agreement on the Purchase of Bolivian Natural Gas. Construction of a 3 thousand km gas pipeline
1996 – Free Trade Area between MERCOSUR and Bolivia
1996 – Tax Exemption Agreement for the Implementation of the Brazil-Bolivia Gas Pipeline
1973 – Agreement for the construction of a gas pipeline from Santa Cruz de la Sierra to the Paulínia (SP) refinery
1984 – Visit of President Figueiredo to Santa Cruz: first visit of a Brazilian President to Bolivia
1999 – GASBOL oil pipe goes into operation
2003 – Visit of Minister Celso Amorim to La Paz, as head of the Brazilian Cooperation Mission (October)
2004 – Brazil-Bolivia Agreement on the Facilitation of the Entry and Transit of their Nationals on respective territories
2004 – Brazilian Presidential visit to Santa Cruz de La Sierra. Signing of a bilateral debt forgiveness agreement on Bolivia's debt (current value of US$ 53 million. BNDES Framework Agreement to Bolivia (July)
2005 – Approval of new Bolivian law for the nationalization of hydrocarbons, through popular referendum
2005 – Visit of Minister Celso Amorim to La Paz. Agreement, by Exchange of Diplomatic Notes, on Migratory regularization (August)
2006 – Visit of President-elect Evo Morales to Brazil (January)
2006 – Hydrocarbon nationalization in Bolivia effective from May 1s
2006 – Launching of negotiations with Petrobras on the nationalization of its assets (May)
2006 – Visit of Minister Celso Amorim to La Paz. Creation of the Working Groups on agrarian and migratory issues (May)
2006 – Visit of the Minister of Foreign Relations and Worship, David Choquehuanca, to Brazil (December)
2006 – Adhesion of Bolivia to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)
2007 – State visit of President Evo Morales to Brazil (February)
2007 – Visit of Foreign Minister Choquehuanca to Brazil (August)
2007 – Visit of President Lula to La Paz. Petrobras announces new investments in Bolivia. Cooperation and Financing agreements to Bolivia were signed (December)
2008 – Visit of Vice-President García Linera and Minister Carlos Villegas to Brasília (February)
2008 – Invitation from the Bolivian Government to Brazil to integrate the “Group of Friends of Bolivia”, aiming at facilitation of the dialogue between the Government and the opposition (March)
2008 – Minister Celso Amorim visits La Paz and Santa Cruz de La Sierra, where he meets with President Morales, Vice-President Linera and Foreign Minister Choquehuanca (April)
2008 – Meeting between Minister Celso Amorim and Minister David Choquehuanca on the eve of the Extraordinary Meeting of UNASUR, in Brasília (May)
2008 – Visit of President Lula to Riberalta, in the Bolivian Amazon. Signing of a protocol on Brazilian financing of a road connecting Riberalta to Rurrenabaque (July)
2008 – Meeting between President Lula and President Morales, in the margins of the quadripartite meeting of Manaus – Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador (September)
2008 – Meeting between President Lula and President Morales, in the margins of the Latin America and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development (CALC), in Sauípe (December)
2009 – Border Meeting between the Presidents of Brazil and Bolivia, between Puerto Suárez and Ladário. Inauguration of two sections of the future Brazil-Bolivia-Chile Inter-oceanic Corridor. Deepening of the discussions on regional infrastructure, drug trafficking and bilateral trade (January)
2009 – High Level Meeting on the Rio Madeira Hydroelectric Projects, in Brasília (March)
2009 – Visit of Minister David Choquehuanca to Brazil (March)
2009 – Visit of Minister Celso Amorim to La Paz, on the occasion of the Bicentennial of "Gesta Libertaria" (July)
2009 – Meeting between the Presidents of Brazil and Bolivia in Villa Tunari. Signature of a Protocol on Brazilian financing of the San Ignácio de Moxos – Villa Tunari Highway (August)
2010 – Inauguration of President Evo Morales' second mandate (January 22)
2010 – Visit of the Special Advisor of the Presidency, Marco Aurélio Garcia, to La Paz (April)
2015 – Visit of President Evo Morales to Brasília for the inauguration of President Dilma Rousseff (January 1)
2017 – Visit to Brazil of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, Fernando Huanacuni (October 6) [Signature of the International Interinstitutional Agreement subscribed between the Ministry of Health of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Ministry of Health of the Plurinational State of Bolivia in matters of health cooperation at the border]