Seventy companies -most of them in the gastronomy and tourism sector- closed their doors due to the economic crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic, and of those that are still open, 90% are not in conditions to pay bonuses, according to a recount of the Chamber of Industry, Commerce, Services and Tourism (Cainco) of Sucre.
The industrial GDP fell by 12% due to the economic unemployment caused by the pandemic, according to the National Chamber of Industries, the largest decrease in the sector in the last four decades. It caused the sector's exports to end up falling by 30% until September, and imports of goods and inputs by 25%. We have lost liquidity, without a doubt, and we are at risk of insolvency; an industry has been closed every day.
New Pacific Metals Corp. is pleased to provide an update on exploration activities at the Silverstrike Project, Bolivia. Recent fieldwork has focused on the Silverstrike Central and South areas where the Company has identified three significant new zones of gold and silver-rich polymetallic mineralization. These areas, together with the previously released Silverstrike North zones, form high priority drill targets for testing once the required permits obtained. New Pacific is a Canadian exploration and development company which owns the Silver Sand Project, in the Potosi Department of Bolivia and the Silverstrike Project in Bolivia.
From last August to date, when the first phase of the digitalization plan launched, about 5,300 micro, small and medium enterprises (MiPymes) in the country have created their digital portals, free of charge. Now, the next step is for all of them to enter e-commerce with a "payment button" - to make their transactions - developed by the FIE Bank and the Kolau company, to support the companies and reactivate their businesses. The goal is that at least 100 thousand MSMEs in the country will be part of the digital industry in 10 years.
The Bolivian Association of Travel Agencies and Tourism (Abavyt) and the Private Sector of Tourism (SEPTUR), foresees that this year will close with losses of more than one billion dollars due to the paralysis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This forecast supported by a study by UNIFRANZ University and other companies. More than 100,000 direct jobs are at risk, many businesses involved in the tourism sector have closed, and as many have had to reduce their staff.
The Agricultural Chamber of Cochabamba requires an injection of 60 million dollars for its productive reactivation. The sector contributed 7.6% to the departmental GDP until 2019, but this year it dropped to 4.5%. It estimates that approximately two billion dollars have lost due to the decline in aggregate demand.
The November soy contract rose to $420.07 per ton, while the January position rose to $423.47 per ton according to information reported by the Rosario Stock Exchange. In Bolivia, exports of soybeans and derivatives in 2019 amounted to more than $700 million. In September 2020 it exceeded $560 million, 6% less than in the same period last year when it reached $604 million.
Between January and September of this year, 4,254 companies cancelled their trade registration, an average of 460 per month, according to Fundempresa's figures. The situation is more difficult for small and medium businesses, about 120,000 productive units, of the more than 600,000 that Conamype groups, closed due to the pandemic.
Only 25% of industrial companies have been able to access credit offered by the central government for the payment of wages and salaries; the rest of the companies have had problems obtaining this type of benefit. The Chamber of Industries regretted that the fund destined to the economic reactivation that aroused many expectations in the sector didn't work. Nor was it possible to carry out the rescheduling of credits for Bs 600 million ($86 mn) with favourable conditions, longer terms and convenient interest rates.
External sales of beef up to the third quarter of 2020 tripled concerning exports in the same period in 2019. As of September, the export of bovine meat registered a total of 42 million dollars (three times more than what reported in 2019) and a volume of 9,966 tons, mainly due to the opening of the Chinese market.