The Bulo Bulo Ammonia and Urea Plant registered a $34.4 million loss between 2018 and 2019. The former Hydrocarbons Superintendent, Hugo de la Fuente, said that the building of the plant cost in $110million more than its original budget and was paralysed 50% of the working days.
The State and its executing units at the national, departmental and municipal levels owe the construction sector more than $143.7 million. The financial, labour and tax costs generated by unpaid spreadsheets are absorbed by construction companies, leaving them, in many cases, at risk of bankruptcy, resulting in the loss of employment sources. In the period 2018-2019, the construction sector reduced from 650 thousand to 350 thousand jobs.
The level of Bolivia’s Net International Reserves (RIN) continues to decline and reaches six months of imports. Data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in 2018 reveal the following for the region: Brazil is the country with the most RIN, with reserves enough for 13.6 months of imports. Follow Peru (11.1), Uruguay (10.3), Bolivia (7.8), Colombia (7.1), Argentina (7.1), Paraguay (6), Chile (4.5), Ecuador (0.9) and Venezuela, which has no information available. Bolivia’s RIN continued to fall last year to $ 6,468 million (about six months of imports), according to a report by the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB).
Banks increased interest rates for Fixed Term Deposits (DPFs) to 5.8% and savings banks up to 5%. This service is in effect for a limited time to access these benefits. Attractive rates respond to the economic growth of recent years in Bolivia, which means that more people opt for DPFs as natural and legal people manage more significant amounts of cash resources.
The approval of the credit of more than $40.8 million will allow the financing of public investment projects in the Autonomous Region of Gran Chaco, postponed for more than 20 years. Funding is subject to the Public Investment Project Financing Program Operational Regulations, which provide for the financing of local counterparties and public investment projects with physical advancement.
After 12 years of the export ban, in which the country ceased to receive more than $1 billion, the national government enacted the supreme decree authorizing the free export of agricultural products and promoting production; however, President Añez warned that the rule should not mean an increase in prices in the domestic market. The decree exempts the export of products that have self-sufficiency, such as wheat. Soybean Export focuses on four countries: Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile. Bolivia seeks to enter China’s Market with soy; currently, the phytosanitary opening is in process. It estimates that this will generate up to $500 million in a year.
The Ministry of Economy reported that at the end of 2019, external debt stood at $11,079 million, representing 26% of Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), until November last year gold exports reached a value of $ 1,542 million and zinc to $ 1,214 million, both concentrating 47% of mineral commodities, with a total amount of $ 3,787 million. Exports of hydrocarbons (natural gas, gasoline and LPG) totalled $ 2,593 million, 32% of Bolivian exports. As of November, traditional and non-traditional exports reached a value of $ 7,991 million, down 4% than in the same period of 2018.
Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.86 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, the lowest rate in recent years. Uncertainty in international markets, political, economic and social crises adversely affected the activities of mining, crude oil, natural gas and its derivatives. Despite the adverse global environment, the Bolivian economy continues to show dynamism, registering The second highest growth rate in South America. Bolivia projected growth of 4.2% by 2020.
The Minister of Economy and Public Finance, José Luis Parada reported that 2019 closed the with a fiscal deficit of 7.7%. The Government achieved the goal in one month and 17 days, by sorting the budget and optimizing public investment. They curbed excessive spending and sought efficiency in impact and profitability projects.