The industry lost 70,000 jobs last year due to the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and claims that companies are not in a position to meet a wage increase this year. According to the National Chamber of Industries, inflation last year was less than 1%, and workers did not lose purchasing power in their wages. Many industries are in crisis.
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.
While the national government, together with soybean producers and the oil industries of Santa Cruz, continue to analyse the validity of the price band for soybean meal, the blockades on the highways connecting Santa Cruz with Cochabamba and Beni reached their third consecutive day yesterday, causing a loss of 2.5 million dollars a day for exports that are not carried out.
Net International Reserves (NIR) fell to 4,999 million dollars on 10 February 2021. Although the downward trend has been going on since 2014, analysts say the current levels are worrying because, when the foreign currency takes into account, Bolivia would only have enough to cover four months of imports without the gold reserves.
Exports reached $692.6 million in January, 10.3% less than in the same month of 2020, when sales abroad reached $772.1 million. The fall is due to negative variations in economic activities such as hydrocarbon extraction (-37.3%), agriculture, livestock, hunting and fishing (-6.2%) and manufacturing industry (-1.2%). The National Institute of Statistics also reports that imports in January reached $565.4 million, 27.7% less than in January last year.
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 Bolivian Highway Administration (ABC) is seeking funding to complete the road that will connect El Alto with the Yungas region. The project began in 2013 and it was announced that it will require an investment of $20.8 million.
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.