GCC not planning to pull out of Bolivia

GCC not planning to pull out of Bolivia
Published: 11 January 2006

Despite radical left-winger Evo Morales’ comfortable victory in Bolivia’s recent presidential elections, Mexican cement maker Grupo Cementos Chihuahua (GCC) is optimistic about its investments in the country, said CEO Manuel Milán Reyes in a conference call. 
 
In September last year, GCC announced that it had acquired a 46.6% stake in Sociedad Boliviana de Cemento (Soboce), the biggest cement producer in Bolivia, for US$58.2m in cash. 

"We have carried out a very exhaustive analysis... and we have found that there is absolutely no relationship between what happens politically and the construction industry and consumption of cement," Milán told BNamericas at that time, before adding that GCC was confident that one of the two right-wing candidates would beat Morales. 
 
"We believe that Mr Morales will concentrate mostly on hydrocarbons, petroleum and gas, and we think the rest of the economy will remain on a growth track as it has in recent years," Milán said during the conference call late last week. 
 
Due to the requirements for cement and concrete to develop Bolivia’s economy and infrastructure, "our partners in Bolivia are pretty optimistic that things will keep growing at a normal pace," added the executive. 

GCC chairman Federico Terrazas Torres also stated that the company has no plans whatsoever to pull out of Bolivia because of Morales’ election. 
 
 "The president-elect has been making comments about private [investment], but mostly about natural gas, which is an important issue for them [Bolivians]. We see no risk in our most recent investment," Terrazas was quoted as saying by Mexican newspaper El Universal. 
 
 Although in his election campaign Morales has spoken frequently about plans to nationalize natural resources, he has also recently explained that this does not mean that his government is going to confiscate foreign investments.