A Bolivian trade mission, led by the Bolivian Forestry Chamber (CFB), closed a $5 million deal in principle with timber importers in China. Chinese importers showed interest in sheet wood, sawn wood and other forest products.
As of November 2019, Bolivia’s gas revenues reached $1.840 billion, $441 million less than the same period of 2018, when revenues reached $2.281 billion. According to the Hydrocarbon Ministry, 2020 will not be a good year for the gas business due to low revenues, the increase in fuel subsidies and the fall in gas production.
In the last few years Bolivia generated at least $29 million in each carnival festival in items such as costume making, gastronomic consumption, hiring of musical groups, among others.
The Salary Scale for YPFB’s specialized personnel in strategic and operational areas, approved by Supreme Decree 2091, ranges from Bs17,120 ($2,460) to Bs48,150 ($6,918). Before its nationalization, YPFB’s payroll reached 500 workers, but over the years it grew to 5,000 dependents. Comprehensive analysis shows overstaffing, which harms its financial efficiency.
YPFB will invest $451.59 million in exploration, 38% of the total allocated. The 2020 Exploration Plan includes a portfolio of 26 exploratory wells, of which expects to complete 11 this year and 15 are in previous exploration activities. The investment for the entire hydrocarbon sector production chain will be $1,207.65 million.
Brazil’s national government reported that it is studying the possibility of building a hydroelectric plant in association with the Bolivian government. The construction of this binational plant with Bolivia would cost about $5 billion and would be located on the Mamoré River, near the municipality of Guajará-Mirim, in the state of Rondônia
The Government will use US$ 17 million from international reserves through the Fund for the Industrial and Productive Revolution (Finpro) to strengthen the Bolivian state-owned aviation company (BoA). This week the new generation Boeing 737-800 entered into operation and will bring another aircraft from California, which is in the process of being upgraded. BoA will soon open a branch office in Lima to improve international connectivity.
The Association of Private Banks of Bolivia (Asoban) asked to adjust the Financial Services Law, in force since August 2013, which regulates interest rates in the issuance of credits. It reported that the rate of growth of new borrowers reduced from 135,000 between 2011 and 2013 to only 30,000 between 2014 and 2018, which shows a definite impact on financial inclusion. If the same regulatory structure is maintained, national banks would be severely affected in the short and medium-term.
Bolivia’s Banco de Desarrollo Productivo (BDP) said that defaulted loans to the productive sector were only 1.08% until December 2019. The placement of loans to the primary sector reached Bs 1,860 million ($267.24 mn), concentrated in agriculture and livestock. This portfolio increased from Bs 850 million ($122.12 mn) to Bs 1,343 million ($192.9 mn) in 2019. Loans to the manufacturing sector rose to Bs.287 million ($41.24 mn).
The accounts of Bolivia’s Mining Corporation (Comibol) were frozen and the State-owned firm was orderd to pay $4.5 million to Barrosquira Mining Company, who operates wolfram mine Himalaya in La Paz. In 2013, Hymalaya mines concession was reverted by a Supreme Decree. Barrosquira initiated an arbitration process in 2015 and the Court ruled in its favour.