At last, the nation of Bolivia is poised for its turn at economic influence, as it explores how to capitalize on its share of the Andean region’s rich deposits of Lithium.
I’m cheering for the nation’s efforts to play the long game: rather than mine and export raw forms, Bolivia must parlay their underground fortune as the basis on which to manufacture and export finished goods: rechargeable lithium-iron batteries, both large and small. And, to sustain majority interests all the while. We see forward momentum with South Korea and several other electronics-manufacturing nations, though Bolivia has yet to export a single ounce of the goods. And, surprisingly, lithium is not yet traded on any commodity exchange.The nation’s reserves rest beneath Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. So, there you see a double-decker mineral bank for the nation. Having built sales and marketing strategies for Hawaii-based salt farmers, I know there are broad applications in heavy industry, transportation, and consumables for good old salt.
Prosperity for the nation, fair and equatable ownership, improved transportation infrastructure, and raised status as a global trading partner are all at stake for Bolivia, and I hope its leaders take the long view on how to proceed.
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