Standard & Poor’s projected Bolivia’s economic growth by 4% for the period 2019-2022. The rating agency also kept Bolivia’s qualification in BB- with a stable outlook in a complex international economic environment where countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Argentina have seen their risk rate decreasing in the last six months. S&P economic projections for Bolivia coincide with those of other international organisations such as the IMF (4%), ECLAC (4.3%) and the World Bank (4%).
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Bolivia has launched a cloud computing system called “Sovereign Cloud” with the aim of achieving technological sovereignty, announced the Ministry of Public Works. The project, similar to systems such as Dropbox or Google Drive, will allow state and private institutions to safely storage information on the internet. The system is already available and the government now is promoting it so private and state institutions can use it, said Public Works Minister, Oscar Coca.
The project to export electricity to Argentina will not begin on 25 May, as it was programmed, and it could be delayed until 2020, said the Argentinian Ambassador in Bolivia, Normando Alvarez. Bolivian state electricity company ENDE is building a transmission cable to export electricity to the north of Argentina, however bureaucratic procedures in both countries have delayed the project.
Although Bolivia is one of the countries with the highest economic growth in Latin America, still remains as one of the poorest in the region, said independent UN expert, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky. He added that the current model based on what is called “extractivism” or the extraction of natural resources, is not sustainable in the long term. He warned that “growing challenges” are coming and the government should diversify the economy and invest more in science and technology.
Bolivian state sugar company San Buenaventura (EASBA) is looking for markets to export a 130,000 quintals-surplus of sugar and one potential buyer is Belgium. EASBA’s CEO, Ramiro Masanto, said that the company is currently negotiation with Belgian’s businessmen to export the sugar surplus production. He added that the company estimates to be able to export sugar by July or August.
Bolivia announced the execution of China Railway Construction’s warranty deposit for the construction of the Rorrenabaque-Riberalta highway. Public Works Minister, Oscar Coca, said that the project is delayed, which is a “serious problem”. The Chinese corporation has been repeatedly accused of violating labour rights in Bolivia and had to face protests and strikes that have impacted the building of the highway.
Bolivia’s state electricity company (ENDE) began the construction of an electric transmission line in Argentina, announced the president of the firm, Joaquín Rodríguez. The project will allow Bolivia to export up to 120 megawatts of electricity to Argentina and it is expected to be completed by September this year. The line will run through a 110 kilometres corridor from Yaguacua (Bolivia) to Tartagal (Argentina). Bolivia expects to obtain an initial monthly revenue of $2 million which will increase as the demand increase in the Argentine market.
Bolivia should evaluate its current economic model of social inclusion to expand towards science and technology investment, recommend UN expert Pablo Bohoslavsky. He added that the current model has allowed Bolivia to become one of the countries with the highest growth in Latin America but now it is time to bet on investment in science and technology.
Bolivia will have to reimburse at least $130 million for the drilling of the Boyuy X-2 well because the government did not sign an independent contract that allows covering the risk, said oil expert Raúl Velásquez. The exploration in Boyuy X-2, according to the experts has not been successful and more exploration will be needed.
Public investment in Bolivia reached 13% of execution by the end of the first quarter of 2019. The total expended in public projects reached $630 million, 2% less than the originally programmed. The 2019 budget includes a public investment of $5.3 billion, said the Planning Minister, Mariana Prado.