LA PAZ, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Bolivian President Evo Morales said Sunday the nationalization of natural resources, launched in the early years of his mandate, has led the country to economic, political and social stability.
"If my government had not executed the nationalization of our natural resources, Bolivia would have been without economic, political and social stability, and would have witnessed less economic growth," said Morales during a public appearance in the eastern city of Santa Cruz.
On May 1, 2006, Morales signed a decree which gave the state total control over all hydrocarbons and forced oil companies operating in Bolivia to hand over 82 percent of their production.
Since then, the left-wing government has led a wave of further nationalization, including that for mineral resources, electricity, telecommunications and other production sectors. The nationalization often happened by the state retrieving control over privatized state-owned enterprises.
Between 1985 and 2005, Bolivia received 4.587 billion U.S. dollars in oil revenue, at an average of 225 million dollars a year. From 2006 to 2015, the total reached 31.573 billion dollars, with a yearly peak of 5.489 billion dollars in 2014.
Speaking on the first day of 2017, Morales was also jubilant as Bolivia had closed 2016 with the highest economic growth rate in South America.
In an interview with Xinhua, former Interior Minister Hugo Moldiz said the dynamism of this good management had allowed Morales to break with history and set records, which included new highs for many macroeconomic indicators.
For Moldiz, the most important achievements of the last decade include the changing of Bolivia into a plurinational state in 2009, the reduction of poverty and the economic growth of 4.5 percent on average.