Authorities from the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy guaranteed the investment of more than $100 million to expand and improve electricity service coverage in Bolivia's rural areas. According to the government, the National Electricity Company (ENDE) has increased electricity service coverage in rural areas to 83% and aims to reach 100% by 2025.
The Covid-19 pandemic decreased restaurant sales in Cochabamba by almost 40%. Of the approximately 4,000 restaurants, 30% have closed permanently, while another 15 % are at risk of going out of business as a result of the impacts of the second wave. According to the Asociación de Empresarios de Restaurantes y Afines (Aserac), all restaurants in the city had to withdraw staff. Before the pandemic, the sector generated 40,000 direct jobs and 80,000 indirect jobs.
The National Tax Service (SIN) will carry out the investigation, control and inspection to identify individuals who do not register as taxpayers of the Tax on Large Fortunes (IGF) despite having a net worth of more than Bs.30 million ($4.3 million).
Santa Cruz livestock farmers and meat packing plants such as Frigor, Fridosa and the industrial company BFC, are preparing to send the first container of beef to the Russian market by the end of the month, according to the Santa Cruz Federation of Santa Cruz Livestock Farmers (Fegasacruz).
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group plans to invest close to $1 billion from its Latin American private equity fund this year as it looks to boost technology growth in the region in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, including agricultural technology. About 70% of the fund's investments will continue to be in Brazil, but there will also be opportunities in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. The $5 billion fund has already invested $2.3 billion in Latin American companies such as Banco Inter, Rappi and Gympass.
Bolivia said it had inked an agreement with China's Sinopharm locking in an initial supply of 500,000 doses of the company´s vaccine against coronavirus by the end of February. Bolivian President Luis Arce said China’s President Xi Jinping had agreed to sell Bolivia 400,000 doses and had donated another 100,000 doses to the South American nation.
YPFB announced that by 2021 it has planned an investment of $128.72 million in the domestic gas network. The president of the state oil company said that it has already reached one million home connections and that since 2006 it has invested $1 billion in the network.
Boliviana de Aviación (BOA) is implementing an austerity plan to reduce salaries and lay off workers, with the aim of making the state-owned airline's operations sustainable. He explained that the company aims to lower costs by 30% and thus achieve a profitability by 2022. He pointed out that the airline's operations were reduced by more than 40% on average due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Between November 2019 and November 2020, restaurant sales plummeted by 50% and supermarket turnover fell by 13%, according to data from the Ministry of Economy. Up to November 2020, restaurant turnover reached $314 million, while in the same period of 2019 sales were $627 million. In the case of supermarkets, turnover in 2019 was $737 million, but in 2020 it only reached $640 million.
President Luis Arce said that the 5% VAT refund has so far benefited 14,700 taxpayers. The measure to reimburse 5% of VAT invoices to those earning up to Bs.9,000 ($1,303.1) aims to stimulate domestic demand and contribute to the reactivation of the economy, hit by the COVID-19 crisis.