In the midst of the health emergency caused by the appearance of the Coronavirus in Bolivia, the Government guaranteed the payment of the Renta Dignidad bond to the elderly. However, it was noted that the payment can be accumulated so it was recommended that beneficiaries collect the bond after the quarantine is lifted and stay in their homes to protect their health.
The number of staff was reduced and the scale of work in operations was adjusted in an effort to ensure security, in addition to the progressive reduction of non-essential activities and services.
The Bolivian National Bank Association (Asoban) announced that persons or companies with liquidity problems due to the quarantine caused by the coronavirus will be granted three benefits: 1. Deferment of payments. 2. Rescheduling of debts and 3. Access to resources to finance their activities.
Two companies are working on prototypes of medical ventilators. Quantum and Scorpion Soft with professionals from different areas carry out this work together. However, they face some difficulties in terms of trafficability and others to carry out manufacturing. These are initiatives that support the fight against the coronavirus.
The Administration of Port Services – Bolivia (ASP-B) enabled its online platform and its website http://www.aspb.gob.bo, to ensure the development of import and export cargo clearance procedures through the Chilean and Peruvian seaports. In this way, the movement of cargo will not be affected despite the restrictive measures by the coronavirus.
Data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE) show that imports of vehicles and automotive accessories from China fell 14% in volume and 10% in value, from $32.5 million in January 2019 to $29.1 million in the same month this year.
The Government of Bolivia announced it has closed its borders and all international flights are suspended for 14 days to combat the spread of COVID-19. The quarantine measures also include: curfews, restricted in-country travel between government departments and an order for all persons to remain in their homes 24 hours a day with an exception made for emergencies. As a result, we have temporarily closed our Bolivian operations to comply with this order. We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide regular corporate updates during this unprecedented time.
Pan American Silver Corp., which last week temporarily suspended operations at four mines in Peru, has now curtailed operations in Argentina and Bolivia also as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced Monday. The company added that it also suspending supply deliveries and personnel transport at its San Vicente operations in Bolivia to comply with rules there that are also to be in effect until the end of the month.
The fall in the international price of WTI oil to $22.53 a barrel will cause a loss of $850.5 million in income from natural gas exports, equivalent to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, in the imports of oil derivatives, a saving of $271.7 million will be generated, approximately 0.7% of the GDP. The net impact would show a drop of 1.3% of GDP. The reduction will mainly affect the income of the National Treasury and the income of the governments, municipalities and universities from the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons (IDH) and royalties.
The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) designed and implemented timely and effective monetary policy measures to ensure liquidity. Among these measures is the reduction of placements of securities through open market operations, which will be deposited in financial institutions. Concerning economic measures, the BCB confirmed that the Bs 500 family bond would reach more than 1.5 million students in the primary cycle, with an injection into aggregate demand of Bs 800 million ($114.9 mn), without this constituting a problem of illiquidity for the system. The BCB ensures the stability of the exchange rate, despite the context of parity volatility Latinamerica.