Business leaders in Cochabamba have announced an ambitious $10 billion plan to convert Bolivia’s second-most populous city into the logistical “heart” of the country, which could be a boon for commerce and investment.
Ramón Daza, the president of the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Services of Cochabamba (ICAM), said the plan for Cochabamba involves converting the city’s Santivañez Industrial Park into a major hub of logistics through which much of the goods transiting the country will pass.
“We intend to implement the largest Bolivian customs facility in the Santiváñez Industrial Park to facilitate trade between the west and the east and between the north and south of Bolivia,” he was reported as saying by local news outlet El Deber.
Daza highlighted how Cochabamba is not only a major transit point for agricultural goods and industrial center, but also in the region where approximately 48% of Bolivia’s electricty is generated.
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According to Daza the scheme will require $10 billion of investment from both the private and public sectors in order to reach the plan’s stated goal of bringing about 6% growth to economy in Cochabamba, with the plan set to deepen links with other major cities and complement the recently started Ichilo Mamoré waterway project, which will provide the country with sea access.
Cochabamba: Bolivia’s productive heartland
Located in the central region of the country, Cochabamba is known for its “eternal spring” climate, which is significantly cooler than the arid west where most populous city Santa Cruz is located, as well as avoiding the wind and colder temperatures experienced in capital city La Paz.
Located in Bolivia’s traditional rural bosom, agriculture is key to the economy of Cochabamba, with grains, potatoes, sugar cane, cocoa, tobacco, and fruit among the products produced in the surrounding regions.
Cochabamba has also developed into an industrial hub, with cars, cleaning products, chemicals, and construction materials among some of the most important goods manufacturing in and around the city.
It has also emerged as something of a focal point for innovation in the country, with Cochabamba commonly being referred to as the “Silicon Valley” of Bolivia — like a number of other tech hubs in the region — and a growing community of technology-focused companies attracting skilled workers to the city.
All of this adds up to make Cochabamba a commercial and productive focal point for Bolivia, meaning it is already primed to be developed further as a logistical hub for the country.
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