La Paz, Bolivia, August 20, 2004—
Bolivia’s Ministry of Economic Development, in partnership with the International
Finance Corporation’s Latin America and Caribbean Small and Medium Enterprise
Facility (IFC LAC SME Facility), has launched a national on-line guide
to administrative procedures: Guía Nacional de Trámites, www.tramites.gov.bo.
Following President Mesa’s February declaration of national policy
priorities, which included administrative simplification, the guide is
part of an on-going effort to stimulate economic development and combat
corruption through simplified administrative procedures and increased transparency.
The Guía Nacional de Trámites (National Guide to Administrative Procedures)
catalogs 130 of the most important national procedures identified by the
central public administration, from exporting to registering a new business
to obtaining mining concessions. For each procedure, the Guía provides
comprehensive, detailed information regarding the associated requirements,
steps, costs, and time for compliance. The Guía consolidates in one
central resource information that was previously dispersed over multiple
layers of bureaucracy.
"In order to foster private sector growth, it is helpful to provide
entrepreneurs with clear and understandable information about the regulations
they need to follow for starting up and operating their businesses",
said Michael Klein, Vice-President of Private Sector Development and Chief
Economist of IFC.
“The previous lack of public information was a significant cause of bureaucratic
inefficiency,” noted Horst Grebe, Bolivia’s Minister of Economic Development.
“Previously, if someone wanted to, say, open a new business or register
a brand, they would likely have to visit several different offices in order
to determine what the requirements were—and would lose a significant amount
of time in the process. Now, all that information can be found in
In addition to improving administrative efficiency, the Guía contributes
to reducing corruption by making these procedures more transparent for
the general public. “Without this kind of access to information,
citizens were more or less at the mercy of public officials to tell them
what steps they needed to follow, how much they needed to pay, etc. That
created many opportunities for corruption, discouraging citizens from complying
with the procedures and undermining public faith in the system,” stated
Guadalupe Cajias, Bolivia’s Presidential Anti-Corruption Delegate.
The on-line guide also provides a powerful tool for the government to analyze
further administrative simplification programs. Using the Guía, government
officials can readily determine which procedures are most expensive and/or
bureaucratic, using the results to design and implement a National Plan
of Administrative Simplification. “Compiling this information, previously
scattered throughout the system, in one central resource is huge step towards
designing an effective national plan for simplifying these procedures,”
The Guía Nacional de Trámites was developed by the LAC SME Facility, in
conjunction with the national government and COLOSA (an international consulting
firm), but to ensure client ownership and long-term sustainability will
henceforth be maintained and expanded by the Ministry of Economic Development’s
Competitiveness and Productivity Unit (UPC). “The Guía Nacional
de Trámites will serve as an important model for future e-governance initiatives,”
noted Rodolfo del Castillo, Director of Agencia sobre el Desarrollo de
la Sociedad de Información en Bolivia (Bolivian Information Society Development
Over the past year, the LAC SME Facility has been actively collaborating
with the Ministry of Economic Development on municipal simplification in
La Paz and other major cities in the country. The LAC SME Facility
plans to replicate the approach used in Bolivia to other countries in Latin
America. These activities are part of the World Bank Group efforts to improve
investment climate in the Latin American region.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37
billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.
ABOUT IFC LAC SME FACILITY
IFC's Latin America and Caribbean Small and Medium Enterprise Facility,
headquartered in Lima, Peru, promotes private sector development by supporting
small and medium enterprises, thus contributing to job creation and poverty
reduction in the region. Its areas of focus are strengthening SME
competitiveness; making it easier for SMEs to do business by simplifying
business regulations; broadening access to finance; and fostering indigenous
and socially responsible enterprises.