Bolivia and Peru will hold a bi-national event on September 13 and 14 titled “Promotion of the Port of Ilo as an Alternative for Bolivian Foreign Trade,” to which all sectors involved in exports and imports are invited, the Bolivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today.
With this event, the Bolivian and Peruvian Foreign Ministries aim to promote the port terminal as another option for international cargo traffic.
The Bolivian Foreign Ministry will host the meeting in the city of La Paz, while the Santa Cruz Chamber of Exports will host another meeting in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
On Saturday, Bolivian Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, Benjamín Blanco, told Xinhua that the port of Ilo is an important alternative to promote Bolivian foreign trade after Chilean ports.
He also considered it fundamental to diversify port alternatives to boost Bolivia’s foreign trade with logistics and cost facilitation, which he said will improve the competitiveness of Bolivian businessmen with other countries.
According to a report released in April by the state-owned Port Services Administration Bolivia (ASP-B), Bolivian cargo traffic at the Peruvian ports of Ilo and Matarani registered record growth in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2021.
WAR OF THE PACIFIC (1879 – 1883)
The war, also called the Saltpeter war, that caused Bolivia to lose its access to the sea was precipitated by a dispute between Bolivia, Chile, and Peru over control of nitrate deposits near the Pacific coast.
In the 1870s Chile faced an economic crisis as the prices of its major exports, wheat, and copper, declined.
As other exports declined, Chile became increasingly dependent on the growth of nitrate mining in the Atacama Desert. Nitrate production doubled between 1865 and 1875.
The area of nitrate deposits straddled what were then the Chilean, Peruvian, and Bolivian borders, including the Bolivian Pacific province of Antofagasta and the Peruvian province of Tarapaca.
Most of the nitrate deposits lay in Bolivian and Peruvian territory, but British and/or Chilean nationals owned the major nitrate mining companies that operated in these areas.
Fought over Chilean claims on coastal Bolivian territory in the Atacama Desert, the war ended with a Chilean victory, which gained the country a significant amount of resource-rich territory from Peru and Bolivia.