Domingo Brief — Bolivian lithium, Ecuadorian shrimp, and a common currency
Each Sunday, take two minutes to catch key stories and opportunities shaping Latin America.
🇦🇷🇧🇷 Presidents Alberto Fernandez and Lula da Silva of Argentina and Brazil, respectively, floated the idea of a common currency — the sur — this week in an
effort to reduce their dependence on the US dollar. The announcement raised the eyebrows of many including the former chief economist of the IMF, but could gain traction as a way of deepening regional integration and autonomy.
Latinometrics: There’s precedent for the idea of a common currency in the Southern Cone. The two countries’ leaders proposed a similar idea, the gaucho, in 1987. This was later dropped as discussions progressed into the formal founding of the Mercosur bloc in 1991 alongside Paraguay and Uruguay.
🇧🇴 Bolivia has officially announced it’s partnering with a Chinese consortium that includes the world’s largest battery producer, CATL, to extract the lithium found beneath its famous salt flats. The government has indicated it expects to be exporting electric batteries by the end of 2025.
Latinometrics: Per an estimate by the United States Geological Service, Bolivia has the world’s largest deposits of lithium, roughly 21M tons. Given the going price of lithium at the moment amidst the global energy transition, the economic potential for the country (and investors) is massive.
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