Bolivia's economy is booming – while poverty increases in Pakistan


Better incomes for the poor in Bolivia and hard times in Pakistan. Those are two contrasting examples of the economic changes taking place around the globe, as detailed in Part 3 of Deutsche Welle's "Secrets of Transformation" series, based on the latest data from the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index (BTI).

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Foto Sabine Donner
Sabine Donner
Senior Expert
Foto Hauke Hartmann
Dr. Hauke Hartmann
Senior Expert

Bolivia's economy is growing rapidly thanks to income from natural resources, and the country's left-wing government is committed to distributing the wealth. That's good news for Bolivia's poor – people like Hermogenia Chura Huanca de Paredes, who now gets a fair price for her knitted goods and has thus successfully made the jump from living in a slum to residing in a real home. The country's business community, however, has its doubts – and is getting ready for the crash it sees coming. Student Mariela Quiroga is unhappy about rising prices, and two former teachers must get by on monthly pensions of €200 each.

In Pakistan, conversely, the economy is in crisis – because of religious fanaticism and political instability. The country's currency has been devalued, prices are rising and jobs are few and far between. As a result, few people think the country’s economic misery will be over anytime soon.

Deutsche Welle reporters met with a number of people in Pakistan, including teacher Mohammad Abu Bakar and his colleagues, who have not been paid for more than six months, and with Sultan Brohi, manual laborer and father of three, who earns so little he’s unable to send any money to his family. Part 3 of "Secrets of Transformation" also profiles people who are benefitting from the crisis, such as security guard Iftikhar Ahmed, who now earns more than he did in the past, thanks to the increased demand for security services.

More information, including interviews with officials and critics, not to mention BTI-based data on Bolivia and Pakistan, is available at
The BTI analyzes the quality of democracy, market economy and governance in 129 developing and transition countries. It measures successes and setbacks on the path toward a democracy based on the rule of law and a market economy anchored in principles of social justice.