LA PAZ – The Bolivian government plans $8.2 billion in public investment in 2016, $1 billion more than this year, despite the fall in revenues from natural gas exports, President Evo Morales said Friday.
Speaking at the inauguration of an infrastructure project in La Paz province, Morales said that while the price of gas has fallen, “in the matter of investment we continue to rise.”
Prices for the gas that Bolivia exports, mainly to Brazil and Argentina, are tied to the price of oil and the steep fall in the price of crude over the past year has hurt government revenues.
Morales pointed out that in 2005, when he first took office, Bolivian public investment was “only” $600 million.
The budget goes now to the Legislative Assembly for approval.
The president has said repeatedly in recent months that his government will not reduce investment or social spending amid the crisis in oil markets.
Last month, Morales announced a $7 billion loan from China to finance infrastructure and energy projects.