Bolivia Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022
Basic data
Capital The official capital is Sucre, the administrative center of the country is La Paz
Population 11,758,869 (est. 2022)
Language There are several official languages: Spanish 60.7%, Quechua 21.2%, Aymara 14.6%, Guarani 0.6%
Religion Roman Catholic 76.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 8.1%, Protestant 7.9%, other 1.7%, no religion 5.5%
State system Republic
Head of State President Luis Arce
Head of government President Luis Arce
Currency name Bolivian Boliviano BOB
Time shift – 4 hours
Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 99.4
Economic growth (%) 5
Inflation (%) 0.7
Unemployment (%) 8

Bolivia is a republic headed by a president who is directly elected for 5 years. If no candidate receives a supermajority of votes, the president is elected by the bicameral Congress. The president appoints the government, which currently consists of 17 ministers.

The country is divided into 9 regions, 94 provinces and 327 municipalities. Each region is headed by a governor and a legislature. Each region has its own courts; the last instance is the Supreme Court.

Current resident Luis Arce, elected in October 2020 from the left-wing Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), will pursue interventionist policies within a state-led development model. Bolivia is expected to take a more pragmatic approach in addressing deep external and fiscal imbalances. The risk of political instability remains high, as fiscal and monetary adjustments will be highly unpopular. The eventual inability of the government to make the necessary changes could precipitate a crisis in the areas of the balance of payments and the debt crisis.

  • Programingplease: Yearbook 2010 of nation Bolivia, including population, politics, and abbreviations.

Bolivia is a country with an open economy, however political and economic instability limits market opportunities. Based on Bolivia’s internal policy, in which the state seeks to control key sectors of the economy, the attractiveness of the country for foreign investors and those interested in business development is decreasing. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bolivian economy fell into a deep recession, however, GDP recorded a positive deviation of 6.11% in 2021 due to the recovery of economic activity and the implemented economic policies aimed at strengthening domestic demand. At the beginning of 2022, the Bolivian government signed the Fiscal-Financial Program (PFF) for the 2022 administration, in which the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) by approximately 5.1% was agreed; a fiscal deficit of around 8.5% of GDP and an end-of-period inflation rate of around 3.3%. Natural gas accounts for 50% of Bolivia’s exports and a major source of tax revenue. The main industries are mining, food processing and petrochemicals. The Bolivian economy is based primarily on the extraction and export of raw materials. Due to the state and nature of the Bolivian economy, there are not too many business opportunities for Czech companies. The importance of the Bolivian market is completely marginal for the Czech Republic. Trade exchange is minimal.

Bolivia is the country with the largest proportion of indigenous people in South America. The share of the Caucasian population is about 15%, and the rest are made up of Indians and half-breeds.

This territorial information is processed for the country that is so-called accredited. The information is provided in an abbreviated form.


  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public holidays


Social and business customs in Bolivia are basically similar to those in other Latin American countries. Bolivians tend to be very open and friendly, it is more common to conclude deals in an informal spirit (at lunches, etc.) with partners whom they trust and have personal sympathy for. Even so, he takes great pains in acting professionally.


Bolivian entrepreneurs are proud of their professional titles. Therefore, use their academic title when addressing or introducing them to others. When addressed, academic titles such as doctor, engineer or master (licenciado) are used.

Business meeting

In any case, it is necessary to expect considerable laziness in the matter of punctuality. When arranging business meetings, it is necessary to proceed from the realistic assumption of a possible delay of about 15-20 minutes or more, because such a delay is not considered a social offense and is tolerated. However, punctuality applies when dealing with senior civil servants or top management.

Bolivian businessmen are generally not aggressive in business dealings and do not appreciate such behavior in their partners either. It is not advisable to appear impatient when it comes to business and get straight to the heart of the matter. The conversation starts with friendly questions. Bolivians rarely give a nod to a deal right away. Rather, it is assumed that several negotiations will take place before even a very favorable deal for the Bolivian partner is concluded. A slow and complex procedure must be expected.


Business partners almost always prefer imperfect Spanish to perfect English. Knowledge of Spanish is therefore very advantageous for business negotiations. Although many business partners also speak English, it is still recommended to use the services of an interpreter at a higher level. Spanish is required for business and promotional materials. Visit Calculatorinc for more information about Bolivia culture and traditions.


– Avoid topics related to politics. Especially those related to the Morales administration, the availability of coca or the cultivation of alternative crops instead of coca. Topics regarding the restriction of Bolivia’s access to the ocean, great praise of neighboring countries or criticism of Christianity are also out of place here.

– Although Bolivians are very friendly, they are also quite formal, they don’t spare a word and try to maintain the highest level of professionalism. Don’t underestimate this, especially with the native population, who are shown respect in the country.

Public Holidays

January 1 – New Year

January 22 – Day of the Multinational State of Bolivia

26-28 2. – Carnival in Oruro. It always takes place before Lent, so every year it depends on the date of the Easter holidays.

March 23 – Day of the Sea In June – Corpus Christi, which fluctuates according to the Easter holidays

May 1 – Labor Day

June 21 – Aymara New Year

August 6 – Independence Day

August 17 – Flag Day

  1. -2. November – Memorial of all the deceased

December 25 – Christmas Day

Easter is celebrated on Good Friday.

Bolivia Culture of Business