A cargo that could reach the Pacific in four days can take as many as 20 days, due to bureaucratic difficulties in Latin American trade, especially with Bolivia.
This information comes from Cloves Vetoratto, the special secretary of Strategic Projects of the Mato Grosso state government, Brazil. “Inter-regional trade suffers from serious obstacles we need to settle,” he said in an interview on Brazil’s National AM Radio.
A seminar was just held in Cuiabá, with the participation of governors from Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile, in an attempt to formulate a work agenda and a timetable of responsibilities for each of the countries.
A Brazilian delegation including the governor of Mato Grosso, Blairo Maggi, spent 11 days traveling through Bolivia and Peru to gain first-hand knowledge of the problems that Brazilians face in these countries.
According to the secretary, bureaucracy constitutes the biggest obstacle to trade. “We were able to corroborate that crossing the Andes is not difficult; the difficulty is crossing the bureaucracy, the bureaucratic barriers that exist between these countries,” he reports.
Brazil and Bolivia have an agreement eliminating the need to use a passport between the two countries. Nevertheless, “these agreements haven’t been adopted in the field, and passports are still required. These are dozens of hindrances, and at each point it is necessary to present personal and automobile documents,” he says.
The obstacles in one country end up setting off a cascade effect. “If Bolivian customs creates a problem, Brazilian customs goes one better, so we need to sit down and talk,” Vetoratto explains.
Translation: David Silberstein