Press Releases

Bolivia Launches National On-Line Guide to Administrative Procedures with IFC LAC SME Facility

Paul Melton
IFC LAC SME Facility

Phone: +1.202.473.7349


Adriana Gómez

IFC Corporate Relations

Phone: +1.202.458.5204


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,  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 just seconds.”

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,” affirmed Grebe.

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 Agency).

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 ( 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.


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.