Bolivia to 'keep Spanish companies informed'

3rd August 2006, Comments 0 comments

3 August 2006, MADRID – The president of Bolivia has promised a mediator will keep Spanish companies up-to-date on his nationalisation reforms.

3 August 2006

MADRID – The president of Bolivia has promised a mediator will keep Spanish companies up-to-date on his nationalisation reforms.

Evo Morales made the commitment at the request of Spanish deputy prime minister Maria Teresa de la Vega who visited him during her tour of Latin America.

Morales pledged to appoint someone close to his government to liaise with companies like Spanish-Argentine company Repsol YPF, which has invested more than EUR 1 billion in Bolivia since 1997.

The companies are among a number of foreign firms who are seriously affected by Morales’ shock nationalisation of the Latin American country's gas and oil resources, which was announced in the spring.

The Spanish government believes the move to give companies regular and genuine information on the situation will alleviate the anxieties of companies with investments in Bolivia.

Morales told De la Vega he is prepared to give legal security to companies with investments in Bolivia provided they are prepared to be "partners" to the state in business. He said he was confident a deal would be struck with Repsol YPF on this basis.

Morales insisted the nationalisation of the country’s gas and oil would not involve expropriation or the expulsion of foreign companies because Bolivia needs foreign investment to develop.

"We don’t need masters, but we do need partners", he said.

De la Vega told Morales that Repsol had a "clear and firm will" to remain in Bolivia.

She told the press after her meeting she believed that if Morales "says things are going well, then they are going well".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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