2019 is an electoral year, and it comes with uncertainty for new investments in the hydrocarbons sectors, warn the Bolivian Hydrocarbons and Energy Chamber (CBHE). The organisation said that gas production has reduced since 2014 and there is an urgency to broaden the exploratory frontier, but the political environment will have an impact in 2019.
Bolivia ranks 128 among 161 countries to do business in 2019, according to Forbes. The American publication states that Bolivia is a resource-rich country with strong growth attributed to captive markets for gas exports, Brazil and Argentina. However, it remains one of the least developed countries in the region because of state-directed policies that deter investment.
The firing of two technical experts from the Electoral Supreme Court (TSE) in Bolivia has caused clashes among the electoral judges. TSE’s Vice-president, Antonio Costas, denounced that the firing of the two technicians was decided without consulting him, despite him being the head of the informatics department.
The public and private sector will invest $US950 million to develop Puerto Busch, in Santa Cruz, which will improve Bolivian exports towards the Atlantic Ocean through the Paraguay-Parana Waterway, said the Minister of Government, Carlos Romero. The investment split is expected to be US$ 500 million public sector and US$ 450 million private sector.
Presidents Sebastián Piñera and Jair Bolsonaro agreed to start the construction of the railway, which will pass through Paraguayan territory and northern Argentina.
According to minister Luis Alberto Sánchez, new investments, industrialisation, legal certainty and market opportunities, will generate more income and Bolivia will enter into a “Platinum age” in the hydrocarbons sector. He also affirmed that by 2025 it is expected investments of more than $US9.5 billion in this sector.
Production of oilseeds and other crops has increased by 4% but producers need more support from the government to have better access to biotechnology to improve profitability and ensure food safety in the country, said the president of the National Association of Oilseed and Wheat Producers (Anapo), Richard Paz.
Bolivia is among the ten countries with the highest minimum wage in Latin America. The country is in 8th place with a minimum wage of $US 300 according to a report from technology and social media expert Fernando Bruccolery published in the portal medium.com. Uruguay is in the first place of the list with a minimum wage of $US463 followed by Chile with a minimum salary of $US434.
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Bolivia expects to sign new gas contracts with Brazilian firms, announced the Hydrocarbons Minister, Luis Alberto Sanchez. According to Sanchez, the new contracts will generate more profits than the current one with the state-owned Petrobras. He added that Bolivia will continue to export gas to Brazil and Argentina even at better prices. However, both Brazil and Argentina states have announced that they need fewer volumes of gas.