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.
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Bolivia will invest at least $2 billion this year in infrastructure projects. The projects will focus in the areas of transport, housing and telecommunications, said Public Works Minister, Oscar Coca.
The fall of the soybean prices to $210 per tonne worry the producers in Bolivia. Soybean production played an important role in the Bolivian economy, according to the president of the Bolivian Export Chamber, Oswaldo Barriga. He added that the oilseed producers expect the help of the Government to reduce the impact.
Peruvian businessmen from the manufacturing sector visited the cities of Cochabamba and Santa Cruz to establish commercial relations with Bolivian entrepreneurs. Peruvian companies specialising in equipment for the food industry, packaging and packing, construction materials, medical and pharmaceutical equipment and cosmetics, offered products and services in order to generate commercial strategic alliances.
The project to exploit gas at the Boyuy field in Bolivia has failed. According to the former Hydrocarbons Minister, Alvaro Rios, the 8,000-metre-deep well contains gas, but its exploitation would not be profitable. There will be new perforations and more tests to find new gas reserves in the country. Spanish Repsol now focuses its attention on starting to drill the well Boicobo, which is located in the Caipipendi block where the Boyuy well is also seated. The Spanish company plans to work in another deep well located in the Margarita block in 2020.
The investment the Bolivian Central Bank (BCB) made with the international reserves abroad were more profitable than the return obtained for lending money to state companies in Bolivia, said the international financial affairs expert, Jaime Dunn. He added that in 2018, BCB’s investment in different portfolios abroad had a return of $149 million or 2.13%, while the loans to state companies had a return of 0.62%.
The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) reported that 20% of the Net International Reserves (RIN) are in gold and 53% in US dollars. According to the institution, the reserves have been invested mostly in Europe (50%), followed by the United States, South Korea and China. “The stock of gold reserves reaches 42.9 tonnes, which represents 20% of international reserves and are invested in high-quality financial institutions,” said BCB’s senior economic policy advisor, Raúl Mendoza.
Bolivia and Argentina signed an agreement to allow oil exploration and exploitation in the Amazon region. Bolivia’s YPFB and Argentina’s YPF signed will work together the next two months to develop a plan and initiate the technical evaluation to allow the oil activity in the Madre de Dios basin in Bolivia’s Amazonian territory.
The excess of rainfall and the high concentration of magnesium and potassium in brine are two of the challenges for efficient exploitation of lithium in Bolivia, according to the Earth Observatory, an institute dependent on the National Administration of the Space and Aeronautics (NASA). According to the institute, these two factors added costs to the exploitation of lithium and make it less competitive to the lithium produced in Argentina and Chile.
The absence of labour policy and clear rules for private investments are the main reasons stopping the arrival of fresh capital for sectors that demand skilled labour. The Millennium Foundation noted that for example in the mining sector, Bolivia has become less and less competitive. The think tank said that Bolivia is in position 74 (of 83) in the Attracting Investment Index.