Bolivia seeks petrochemical investment from Iran

25 September 2007 22:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Bolivia is seeking petrochemical investments from Iran, according to media reports on Tuesday.

A report by Reuters cited comments by Bolivian President Evo Morales, who will receive a state visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday.

“We decided to open this agreement on diplomatic relations with Iran not to offend or irritate anyone, but to complement and improve the economic situation of the country,” Morales was cited as telling reporters in New York.

Morales and Ahmadinejad were in New York for a United Nations (UN) general assembly.

According to an IRNA Iranian state media report on 6 September, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a joint press conference with Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehvanca that the two countries were determined to broaden political and economic ties.

Bolivia, which has large natural gas reserves, has been viewed as a potential partner in petrochemical investments with Brazilian companies such as Petrobras or Braskem. However, Petrobras has distanced itself from Bolivia since its assets were nationalised in 2006, while Braskem too has said investing in Bolivia is no longer attractive.

"Just as the Venezuelan President Mr. Hugo Chavez, who during his last year’s visit to Assalouyeh Petrochemical Complex asked for signing a contract with Iran, Bolivia, too, can take advantage of the high potentials of Iranian firms in establishment of petrochemical facilities,” Mottaki said, according to the IRNA report.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has close ties to Morales, recently said he planned a “petrochemical revolution” in Venezuela that would be in part inspired from the Iranian petrochemical investment model.

By: John Waggoner
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