The government announced that it would inaugurate at the end of March the Centre for Research in Science and Technology of Materials and Evaporitic Resources. The Centre built in La Palca, Potosí, had an investment of Bs 57.1 ($8.19 mn). The equipment will require an investment of more than $5 million to acquire high-tech equipment for research, development and innovation of cathode materials, electrolytes and chemical elements for the industrialisation of Bolivian lithium and its derivatives.
Almost three months after the national government's announcement to carry out a diagnosis of the situation of the urea and ammonia plant to put it into operation, no progress made. The plant needs to repair the turbocompressor, ventilation towers, boilers, water intake and start-up generators. The work is estimated to take at least a year and cost a minimum of $20 million.
The financial system's profits fell by 58% in 2020 compared to the previous year. In 2020, the financial system's profits were $140 million, compared to $333 million in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 17%. The leading cause of the reduction in profits is the deferral of bank loans decreed last year and the current administration's grace period.
The Chamber of Industry, Commerce, Services and Tourism of Santa Cruz (Cainco) held its Ordinary General Assembly, during which the members unanimously ratified Fernando Hurtado as president and approved the 2020-2021 management report.
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 Departmental Federation of Milk Producers of Santa Cruz (Fedeple) asked the soy sector to lift the road blockades, as the pressure measure harms 60% of the milk production that cannot reach the city.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, new businesses' registration fell by 19 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019. Economists agree that companies require support from the government because the reduction impacts the country's unemployment rate.
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.
Soybean producers in Santa Cruz completed their first day of blockade yesterday, demanding the national government to eliminate the price band for soy derivatives, given that this system alters the negotiation with the oil industries and leaves a loss of at least 100 million dollars.
The illegal entry of people into the Bajo Paraguá Municipal Protected Area and the Guarayos Forest Reserve warns of the return of severe conflicts over land tenure in Santa Cruz. The Guarayos native peoples denounce that the encroachers intend to take parks, reserves and native lands even with firearms, while the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA) plans to authorise settlement resolutions on 4,000 hectares in the first quarter of 2021 alone.