The urban unemployment rate in Bolivia rose from 5.8% to 7.3% between March and April as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The index came out of the monitoring and analysis on the impact of Covid-19 on the national economy.
The Forestry and Lands Authority (ABT) revealed the preliminary results of an operation in Cochabamba that reported illegal trade in precious woods valued at more than $15 million.
The Government estimates that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will contract by 5.9% by the end of the year, the lowest level in the country’s history, due to the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) indicated that cumulative inflation to May was 1.2% and expected to remain below the expected margin of 3.4% until year-end.
The National Program for Reactivation of Employment, which was presented this Wednesday by the Government, will have additional financing of Bs 13,880 million destined to the construction of the Propylene and Polypropylene Plant in Tarija. The Government said a bill was sent to the Parliament and demanded its approval to access the resources.
Bolivia’s government presented an economic reactivation plan, which contemplates the preservation and creation of 4.5 million jobs through the investment of 30 billion Bolivians ($4.3 bn). The Direct Job Creation Plan aims to create 50 thousand jobs per month. The municipalities will be able to present their projects to accompany the state plan.
Bolivia register a cumulative $102.25 million trade deficit in April and May. In April, the negative balance was $57 million, while in May, the trade deficit reached $45.25 million. The Bolivian state coffers are highly dependent on exports of products such as natural gas and minerals, which represent up to 81% of the country’s sales abroad.
The national government committed to transfer until July 3, Bs 279,390,000 ($40.1 mn) from the COVID-19 Fund to 340 Autonomous Municipal Governments and Autonomous Indigenous Original Peasant Governments of Bolivia. This Fund is additional to the Law for the Recovery of 12% of the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons (IDH) for the Autonomous Territorial Entities and Universities, which will benefit them with the return of $200 million.
Only 25 per cent of companies in Cochabamba were able to obtain bank loans to alleviate their needs after the quarantine decreed by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Federation of Private Business Entities of Cochabamba (FEPC), due to the difficulty in presenting guarantees and high-interest rates.
Imports of medical equipment increased in the first four months of this year by 24 per cent over the same period last year. However, between January and April 2020, the country imported 2.8 million kilos of medicines for 74 million dollars, 1 per cent less than in 2019.
On Tuesday, the Forestry and Land Social Control Authority (ABT) presented a package of seven measures to reactivate and boost the development and sustainability of the country’s forestry sector. With these measures, we will protect 90,000 families that live directly from the industry and 180,000 families indirectly.