The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the financial needs of Latin American countries to cope with the health emergency. It has generated an increase in the region's debt levels from 68.9% to 79.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2019 and 2020, making Latin America and the Caribbean the most indebted area in the developing world. A new report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reveals that the health contingency has magnified Latin America's structural gaps and put its resilience at risk.
The Organisation of American States (OAS) said it has taken up the concerns of various international organisations about the situation in Bolivia and warned that the Bolivian justice system does not offer guarantees of a fair trial. The statement coincides with a series of demonstrations over the arrest of former president Jeanine Áñez, accused of sedition, terrorism and conspiracy.
Argentina's foreign minister, Felipe Solá, was in Bolivia, where he met with his counterpart Rogelio Mayta and anticipated an alliance to industrialise lithium after signing a joint declaration, a bilateral instrument of intent. Bolivia has the largest reserves of this element, with 21 million tonnes. According to data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), it is followed by Argentina, with 17 million, and Chile, with 9 million, according to data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The entry of contraband dairy products puts at risk the entire milk production chain in Cochabamba, which comprises 7,000 producers, producing 242 million litres of milk per year and generating more than 2,700 jobs.
Remittances to Bolivia in December 2020 increased by 28.3% compared to November. It attributed to economic recovery in the countries where Bolivians are staying, mainly Spain. According to a report by the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB), remittance inflows in November were 106 million dollars, while in December, they increased to 136 million.
A tripartite technological alliance agreement was signed in Cochabamba between the National Load Dispatch Committee (CNDC), the French grid management operator RTE International (RTEi) and the French Development Agency (AFD) to integrate alternative energies into the Bolivian National Interconnected System. The agreement will receive a grant of 700,000 euros ($847,000), which is part of the AFD's 90 million euros ($109 million) budget support dedicated to promoting renewable energy, support for energy efficiency and institutional strengthening of the electricity sector.
The viaduct on the Santa Cruz-Warnes dual carriageway, which cost Bs 55.5 million ($8 million), is now a reality. The structure will free the vehicular traffic of more than 22,000 vehicles per day on the Red Vial Fundamental. It comprises three sections of 25.6 metres in span, each supported by piles. It has a total length of 1,040 metres from north to south. Its structure is 732 linear metres long, each access ramp is 321 metres long, and a bridge is 90 linear metres long.
A plane carrying 500,000 vaccines from China's Sinopharm will arrive this Wednesday to Santa Cruz. Bolivia and China signed an agreement on 11 February for the acquisition of the vaccines. In addition to the vaccines, the aircraft is carrying syringes, medicines and five non-invasive respirators donated by a Chinese company in June 2020.
The return of gas exports from Argentina to Brazil due to the development of Vaca Muerta, the world's second-largest unconventional gas field, is a sign that in at least three years, Argentina will no longer need Bolivian gas to cover its domestic demand. Private companies operating in Vaca Muerta have a strategy to supply gas to northern Argentina and Chile in the next three years. Northern Argentina is the region that demands Bolivian gas. The fifth addendum to the contract signed on 31 December 2020 establishes 8 million cubic metres per day (MMm3d) in summer and 14 MMm3d in winter.
The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) productive contribution is 42% in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, La Paz, Cochabamba and El Alto, four municipalities on the central axis, while 328 municipalities generate 45% of the country's wealth. There are 44 poorer municipalities in the country that produces only 2% of GDP. Analysts note that they must change the productive matrix to overcome inequalities.