The World Bank (WB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) indicated that the resources provided to the Bolivian State cannot be used for other purposes that are not included in the loan contracts. The president of the Bolivian Assembly, Eva Copa, affirmed on Friday that the Bond against Hunger will be financed with the credits of the IDB and the WB, which total $704 million, but according to the IDB and the WB, these resources have not been assigned for this purpose.
Total exports from January to August 2020b reached $4.21 billion, $1.68 billion less than the same period in 2019, indicating a decrease of 28%. Imports from January to August reached $4.24 billion, 35% less than the same period in 2019. In the first eight months of 2020, the trade balance registered a deficit of $30 million. The structural problem with the trade deficit is that the country has few value-added products to export and increasingly needs to import a variety of inputs, machinery, and fuels.
All state-related expenses are covered up to 45% by the private sector. Yes, companies, banks and individuals, and even workers (through the AFPs) lend money to support the state bureaucracy. In June, the internal debt of the General Treasury of the Nation (TGN) reached Bs 56,239 million ($ 8.06 bn), the figure represents a growth of 48%, concerning the same period last year.
The Latin American Development Bank (CAF) has issued $750 million in bonds, maturing in five years, to promote Latin America’s economic revival. The issuance attended by 93 U.S. investors, mainly fund managers, public institutions, pension funds and commercial banks. The underwriting banks were Citi, Daiwa, Goldman Sachs and Nomura. CAF’s comprehensive strategy includes a regional emergency credit line of $2.5 billion to reinforce anticyclical economic measures.
To provide resources to companies and provide support to the payment of workers’ salaries; the Productive Development Bank (BDP) has spent the 100% of the Bs 900 million ($130.2 million) of the Emergency Plan to Support Employment and Labour Stability. The plan was created to support companies during the sanitary emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds were placed in 12 financial institutions and to date have supported 3,000 companies.
Seventy-three per cent of the 552,142 hectares of forest and pastureland burned by forest fires in the department of Santa Cruz as of September 15, 2020, correspond to public lands and large agricultural properties. Again, the Chiquitania region is the most affected. The work of the State to protect and control fiscal lands is questioned since legally there should be no human settlements or fires in these places. However, they are appropriated by groups who are starting to burn in the face of the national government’s permissiveness.
The workers of the Gestora Pública de la Seguridad Social de Largo Plazo denounced in an anonymous letter to the Minister of Economy the embezzlement of approximately 35.4 million bolivianos ($5 mn) from the Fondo de la Renta Universal de Vejez (FRUV).
During 2019, the sector with the highest growth rate was agriculture. Agricultural activities had increased their share of GDP from 11.6% in 2017 to 12.2% in 2019. Oilseed and industrial products, such as soybeans and sugarcane, represent 65% of the country’s agricultural production, covering 45% of the area planted in Bolivia. In 2019 they presented a 4.4% increase in total production. The area planted grew by 5.3%; however, average yields for these crops fell by almost 1%.
The government projected a deficit of 12.1%, double what projected for this year and the highest in the last seven consecutive years. Also, it foresees inflation of 1.7% and a drop in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around 6.2%.
The government’s monetary authorities reviewed the 2020 Financial Program. They foresee a contraction of 6.2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and inflation of 1.7% and fiscal deficit of 12.1% until the end of the year.