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Bolivia Lithium Essay

1463 words - 6 pages

International Business – Bolivia Lithium
William Ratliff
Tarleton State University
Dr. Baeza
BUSI 4344 International Business – Online

The Scenario
The main objective of this assignment is to watch a video clip and answer some of the main questions that are addressed in this particular assignment (Buckley, 2004). This entire video clip is focused on the country of Bolivia and lithium, one of its major natural resources. The salt flats of Bolivia are estimated to contain over six million tons of untapped lithium. According to the video clip, Bolivia is also the poorest country located on South American continent. The acute poverty results in certain issues that need to be addressed, ...view middle of the document...

This will subsequently result in major changes in the current business environment. Apart from this problem, there is yet another important problem that could be associated with this aspect, which is inconsistency among the mindset of two most recent Presidents and their political parties (Hodgetts and Luthans, 2003). The newly elected President and the former President have completely contrasting mindsets regarding the utilization of foreign participation in mining the lithium from their land. Complete consensus from rival political parties and their people is extremely important for Bolivia to bring a positive change in their functionality as well as negotiating these business opportunities with foreign countries and businesses. If these negotiations are handled correctly it will lead to a positive change in the standard of living for the citizens of Bolivia.
What are the Critical Issues?
After analyzing the entire case of Bolivian lithium, it is found that there are number of critical issues that must be addressed for the country to see benefits from this windfall. The video clip highlights two major issues acting as hurdles for Bolivia’s progress. The first major issue that must be addressed is the lack of technological knowledge and technically proficient people within the country itself (Panopto, 2015). If they were able to instruct a sufficient number of technical engineers and miners then they will be able to mine the natural resources on their own without outside contractors. In turn, they could build upon that knowledge and spread the required training at a compounding rate of speed. Unfortunately, only a very small number of people in Bolivia currently have the proper training or equipment to reach the lithium. This training will be an asset that can totally change their lives, almost overnight. In the past foreign companies have taken advantage of this lack of education and used the local labor for backbreaking work while not sharing in the bounty of what comes out of the mines. These companies, with the support of their governments at home, rape the countryside but don’t provide any true investment that will better the lives of the local citizens. The vast majority of the money made from mining in Bolivia is never returned to the citizens. Furthermore, the current mines are very dangerous, and there are limited safety precautions and measures taken, therefore posing life threatening risks for the workers who are willing to take part in this venture. The safety programs in place in most of Bolivia are unregulated and in no way reflect programs similar to OSHA.
What is the Most Desirable Outcome?
The most desirable outcome is to develop the mining of lithium using only local resources or obtaining an agreement to outsource the management of the mining and distribution of the lithium with a foreign business entity that has favorable terms for Bolivia. Most of the people located in Bolivia live below the living standards of...

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