LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales issued on Thursday a decree aiming to reinforce government support to small and medium-sized businesses through technological advancement.
“We must consume our own products,” Morales said in this capital during the announcement of the decree to regulate the small and medium-sized business law created in 2017.
He added that “the domestic market is the most secure for economic growth,” while reliance on the foreign market “must be supplementary.”
The president also said that buying Asian imports sends a large amount of money “to China” and encouraged citizens to purchase domestic products even if they are “a bit more expensive,” as the country employs “technology to lower production costs.”
Bolivia currently imports technology from neighboring Argentina and Brazil, but the government is working toward phasing out that dependency and advancing the country’s own technological capabilities at a lower cost.
Bolivian consumers spend around $1 billion a year on cheaper counterfeit products, which costs the government some $400 million in taxes, said the president.
The new law aims to foster technological innovation centers throughout the country to improve Bolivian production, Productive Development Minister Eugenio Rojas said.
Bolivia has some 800,000 small and medium-sized businesses, which provide more than 1.5 million jobs.