Rice prices fell 20% in 2019, impacting farmers capability to increase their productivity. At the same time, maize production dropped approximately 20% due to low land productivity, causing concern in the agricultural sector that fears now an increase of basic food imports in 2020.
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At least 75% of some 27,000 registered companies in Bolivia certified the payment of the Christmas Bond, said the Labour Minister, Oscar Mercado.
Deputy Minister of Pensions and Financial Services Osvaldo Jáuregui reported that the pension system funds administered by the AFPs reached $19 billion. The Government also announced that will end permanently the $10.9 million contract with Colombia’s Heinsohn Business Technology, which was hired to design software for the state-owned Long Term Social Security management company.
Bolivia will end 2019 with the highest fiscal deficit in 17 years, at 9% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the Commerce and Industry Chamber of Santa Cruz (CAINCO). A fall on tax collection and state incomes are the main reasons for the deficit. According to the Jubilee Foundation, hydrocarbon revenues fell by 18% while tax collections reduced by 3.5%.
Bolivia has the highest mobile internet rate in South America, with an average of $8.41 per gigabyte (GB), Chile has the lowest cost at $1.87 per GB, according to the global ranking prepared by the international portal cable.co.uk, based on collection and analysis of 6,313 mobile data plans in 230 countries.
Despite the political situation, Telecommunications companies maintain their dynamism, due to the high consumption in data, according to different rating agencies. State-owned Entel has a 45.4% market share, Tigo by 37.6% and Viva Nuevatel 16.9%.
The livestock sector expects to increase its growth from 6 to 10 per cent in 2020, due to the progress in opening up new beef export markets. The producers expect to make sales to Russia and Chile and continue shipments to China and Peru.
The president of the National Chamber of Industries (CNI), Ibo Blazicevic, called for freezing the national minimum wage in 2020 and only negotiating the increase in the basic level, based on inflation recorded in the current period. He added that Bolivia has the fifth-highest salary in the region; it is a high cost for labour with very little productivity.
Profits from State oil company YPFB drop from $1.3 billion in 2014 to $52 million in 2018, according to data from the company and the Economic Ministry. Executed investments also reduced from $2.1 billion in 2014 to $313.5 million in 2018.
Bolivia could keep open the Brazilian market for Bolivian natural gas for the next 3 or four years. The contract with Brazil should finish at the end of this year. The Hydrocarbons Minister, Victor Hugo Zamora, said that they expect to signed an addendum to the contract in the next 70 days that will define the shipments to the gas still not taken by Brazil (around 12 months) and also it guarantees an income of around $5 billion for Bolivia.