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The period was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large Northern Hemisphere markets. In , the government passed hydrocarbon laws that imposed significantly higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to the state energy company in exchange for a predetermined service fee; the laws engendered much public debate. High commodity prices between and sustained rapid growth and large trade surpluses with GDP growing 6.

The global decline in oil prices that began in late exerted downward pressure on the price Bolivia receives for exported gas and resulted in lower GDP growth rates - 4. A lack of foreign investment in the key sectors of mining and hydrocarbons, along with conflict among social groups, pose challenges for the Bolivian economy. MORALES passed an investment law and promised not to nationalize additional industries in an effort to improve the investment climate. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a transitional economy with limited market reforms. The economy relies heavily on the export of metals, energy, textiles, and furniture as well as on remittances and foreign aid.

A highly decentralized government hampers economic policy coordination and reform, while excessive bureaucracy and a segmented market discourage foreign investment. The economy is among the least competitive in the region. Foreign banks, primarily from Austria and Italy, control much of the banking sector, though the largest bank is a private domestic one.

Regulation & the Economy

The konvertibilna marka convertible mark - the national currency introduced in - is pegged to the euro through a currency board arrangement, which has maintained confidence in the currency and has facilitated reliable trade links with European partners. In , Bosnia began a three-year IMF loan program, but it has struggled to meet the economic reform benchmarks required to receive all funding installments. Bosnia and Herzegovina's private sector is growing slowly, but foreign investment dropped sharply after and remains low.

High unemployment remains the most serious macroeconomic problem.

Successful implementation of a value-added tax in provided a steady source of revenue for the government and helped rein in gray-market activity, though public perceptions of government corruption and misuse of taxpayer money has encouraged a large informal economy to persist. National-level statistics have improved over time, but a large share of economic activity remains unofficial and unrecorded.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's top economic priorities are: acceleration of integration into the EU; strengthening the fiscal system; public administration reform; World Trade Organization membership; and securing economic growth by fostering a dynamic, competitive private sector. Until the beginning of the global recession in , Botswana maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since its independence in Botswana recovered from the global recession in , but only grew modestly until , primarily due to a downturn in the global diamond market, though water and power shortages also played a role.

Botswana also ranks as one of the least corrupt and best places to do business in sub-Saharan Africa.


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De Beers, a major international diamond company, signed a year deal with Botswana in and moved its rough stone sorting and trading division from London to Gaborone in The move was geared to support the development of Botswana's nascent downstream diamond industry. Tourism is a secondary earner of foreign exchange and many Batswana engage in tourism-related services, subsistence farming, and cattle rearing. The economy has been negatively affected by multiple corruption scandals involving private companies and government officials, including the impeachment and conviction of Former President Dilma ROUSSEFF in August Sanctions against the firms involved — some of the largest in Brazil — have limited their business opportunities, producing a ripple effect on associated businesses and contractors but creating opportunities for foreign companies to step into what had been a closed market.

The succeeding TEMER administration has implemented a series of fiscal and structural reforms to restore credibility to government finances. Congress approved legislation in December to cap public spending. Government spending growth had pushed public debt to The government also boosted infrastructure projects, such as oil and natural gas auctions, in part to raise revenues. Other economic reforms, proposed in , aim to reduce barriers to foreign investment, and to improve labor conditions.

After the Asian and Russian financial crises, Mercosur adopted a protectionist stance to guard against exposure to volatile foreign markets and it currently is negotiating Free Trade Agreements with the European Union and Canada.

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All economic activity is concentrated on the largest island of Diego Garcia, where a joint UK-US military facility is located. Construction projects and various services needed to support the military installation are performed by military and contract employees from the UK, Mauritius, the Philippines, and the US. Some of the natural resources found in this territory include coconuts, fish, and sugarcane. More than , tourists, mainly from the US, visited the islands in Livestock raising is the most important agricultural activity; poor soils limit the islands' ability to meet domestic food requirements.

In the mids, the government began offering offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate in the islands, and incorporation fees now generate substantial revenues. Roughly , companies were on the offshore registry by yearend The adoption of a comprehensive insurance law in late , which provides a blanket of confidentiality with regulated statutory gateways for investigation of criminal offenses, made the British Virgin Islands even more attractive to international business.

Brunei is an energy-rich sultanate on the northern coast of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Brunei boasts a well-educated, largely English-speaking population; excellent infrastructure; and a stable government intent on attracting foreign investment. Per capita GDP is among the highest in the world, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic hydrocarbon production. Bruneian citizens pay no personal income taxes, and the government provides free medical services and free education through the university level.

The Bruneian Government wants to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon exports to other industries such as information and communications technology and halal manufacturing, permissible under Islamic law. Bulgaria, a former communist country that entered the EU in , has an open economy that historically has demonstrated strong growth, but its per-capita income remains the lowest among EU members and its reliance on energy imports and foreign demand for its exports makes its growth sensitive to external market conditions.

The government undertook significant structural economic reforms in the s to move the economy from a centralized, planned economy to a more liberal, market-driven economy. These reforms included privatization of state-owned enterprises, liberalization of trade, and strengthening of the tax system - changes that initially caused some economic hardships but later helped to attract investment, spur growth, and make gradual improvements to living conditions.

Bulgaria is heavily reliant on energy imports from Russia, a potential vulnerability, and is a participant in EU-backed efforts to diversify regional natural gas supplies. As of early , the government was floating the possibility of resurrecting the Belene project. The natural gas market, dominated by state-owned Bulgargaz, is also almost entirely supplied by Russia.

Infrastructure projects such as the Inter-Connector Greece-Bulgaria and Inter-Connector Bulgaria-Serbia, which would enable Bulgaria to have access to non-Russian gas, have either stalled or made limited progress. This new agency is responsible for the electronic governance, coordinating national policies with the EU, and strengthening cybersecurity. Despite a favorable investment regime, including low, flat corporate income taxes, significant challenges remain.

Corruption in public administration, a weak judiciary, low productivity, lack of transparency in public procurements, and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country's investment climate and economic prospects.

Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that depends on adequate rainfall. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. The country has seen an upswing in gold exploration, production, and exports. In , the government adopted a new development strategy, set forth in the National Plan for Economic and Social Development, that aims to reduce poverty, build human capital, and to satisfy basic needs.

A new three-year IMF program , approved in , will allow the government to reduce the budget deficit and preserve critical spending on social services and priority public investments. Political insecurity in neighboring Mali, unreliable energy supplies, and poor transportation links pose long-term challenges. Since Burma began the transition to a civilian-led government in , the country initiated economic reforms aimed at attracting foreign investment and reintegrating into the global economy.

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Burma established a managed float of the Burmese kyat in , granted the Central Bank operational independence in July , enacted a new anti-corruption law in September , and granted licenses to 13 foreign banks in In October , Burma passed a foreign investment law that consolidates investment regulations and eases rules on foreign ownership of businesses. The government is focusing on accelerating agricultural productivity and land reforms, modernizing and opening the financial sector, and developing transportation and electricity infrastructure. The government has also taken steps to improve transparency in the mining and oil sectors through publication of reports under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative EITI in and Despite these improvements, living standards have not improved for the majority of the people residing in rural areas.

The isolationist policies and economic mismanagement of previous governments have left Burma with poor infrastructure, endemic corruption, underdeveloped human resources, and inadequate access to capital, which will require a major commitment to reverse. The Burmese Government has been slow to address impediments to economic development such as unclear land rights, a restrictive trade licensing system, an opaque revenue collection system, and an antiquated banking system.

Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for more than half of foreign exchange earnings, but these earnings are subject to fluctuations in weather and international coffee and tea prices, Burundi is heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as foreign exchange earnings from participation in the African Union Mission to Somalia AMISOM. Burundi faces several underlying weaknesses — low governmental capacity, corruption, a high poverty rate, poor educational levels, a weak legal system, a poor transportation network, and overburdened utilities — that have prevented the implementation of planned economic reforms.

Real GDP growth dropped precipitously following political events in and has yet to recover to pre-conflict levels. The economy is service-oriented with commerce, transport, tourism, and public services accounting for about three-fourths of GDP.

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Tourism is the mainstay of the economy and depends on conditions in the euro-zone countries. Cabo Verde annually runs a high trade deficit financed by foreign aid and remittances from its large pool of emigrants; remittances as a share of GDP are one of the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The island economy suffers from a poor natural resource base, including serious water shortages, exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought, and poor soil for growing food on several of the islands, requiring it to import most of what it consumes.

The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited. Economic reforms are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy and mitigate high unemployment. The tourism, garment, construction and real estate, and agriculture sectors accounted for the bulk of growth. Around , people, the majority of whom are women, are employed in the garment and footwear sector.

An additional , Cambodians are employed in the tourism sector, and a further , people in construction.

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Tourism has continued to grow rapidly with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year in and reaching 5. Mining also is attracting some investor interest and the government has touted opportunities for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems. Still, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia and long-term economic development remains a daunting challenge, inhibited by corruption, limited human resources, high income inequality, and poor job prospects.

The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the impoverished countryside, which also lacks basic infrastructure.