In 2019, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Cochabamba reached 6.22 billion dollars, representing 15% of the national GDP. According to information from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), the exports of the department of Cochabamba are concentrated mainly in natural gas and forms of raw gold, but also a diversity of non-traditional exports such as the well-known bananas from the Chapare. In comparison, its foreign purchases are mainly of transportation equipment.
According to the latest report from the Milenio Foundation, one of the main reasons for the deterioration in hydrocarbon production in the country is the low foreign investment in this sector. From 2014 to 2019, investments in the industry fell by 82.09%. In 2019 the external capital resources that arrived in the country were $242 million, 0.6% of the GDP. Attracting investment is one of the most backward areas in the country, with regulations and institutions that provide little incentive for private and mainly foreign investment.
China is Bolivia’s main bilateral creditor, and the pre-pandemic debt balance was $1.04 billion, just below international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and CAF-Latin American Development Bank. Bolivia’s close relationship with China is also a trade issue. According to data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), as of July 2020, Bolivia exhibits a negative trade balance of $734 million with the Asian country. The main exported products are minerals, wood and beef; so far this year, about $141 million in products were exported, and $875 million in Chinese articles imported.
On Thursday, in the city of La Paz, the Federation of Municipal Associations (FAM-Bolivia) met with the Ministry of Economy and Public Finance, to make Bs 800 million ($114.78 mn) of a loan granted by the CAF-Latin American Development Bank to the country for a total amount of $ 200 million.
The municipality of Santa Cruz agreed to a $ 37 million loan from CAF-Latin American Development Bank for the Rapid Transit Bus System project; the loan agreement will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly for approval.
The Bolivian government presented a project to the CAF-Latin American Development Bank for Bs 1.4 billion ($200 mn), to be used to support the management of municipalities and governments, which are facing a significant drop in income due to the health emergency, a product of the COVID-19.
Bolivia will allocate 100 million Euros granted by the French Development Agency (AFD) to finance bonds and the family basket for the benefit of the most vulnerable families and those affected by the health crisis of Covid-19. The French cooperation also donated 1 million dollars for the purchase of apheresis material in the Blood Banks of Tarija and Santa Cruz, as well as PCR tests.
The Chamber of Deputies approved an $11.5 million loan to be granted by the Latin American Development Bank-CAF for the construction of a wastewater plant in the 7th district of El Alto. The project will have a total cost of $15 million, $3.5 million of which will be provided by the municipality of El Alto and the Empresa Pública Social de Agua y Saneamiento (Epsas).
The government informed this Tuesday that the fiscal deficit for the first semester of 2020 reached Bs 20. billion ($2.87 bn). The deficit increased considerably as a result of the quarantine, established by the COVID-19, which caused a significant reduction in the State’s income, since economic activities paralyzed, although they later reactivated, but with limitations.
El Gobierno informó, este martes, que el Programa Global de Crédito para la Defensa del Tejido Productivo y el Empleo en Bolivia se financiará con el crédito otorgado por el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) por $130 millones. La norma señala que tras suscribirse el contrato éste debe remitirse a la Asamblea Legislativa para su aprobación.