Beer was the main alcoholic beverage imported in 2019 with $11.6 million, according to a report by the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE) with data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). Beer imports were followed by rum (US$8 million) and whiskey (US$4.5 million).
Research conducted by DigiTimes Research estimates that shipments of Chinese-made laptops will fall between 29% and 36% worldwide during the first quarter of 2020 due to the outbreak of coronavirus and its effects on factories in the Asian giant.
About 114,028 companies are engaged in commercial activity, employing 790,000 people, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). According to official data, the sector has grown by 4.68% in 2019.
Lithium prices in the international market fell from $16,500 MT in 2018 to $10,500 MT in 2019, due to the oversupply. Despite the drop, new lithium projects in the region are developing and so is the technology for its exploitation. In Mexico, a 100,000 hectare project is being developed in Sonora, and a fund created by Bill Gates invested in Lilac Solutions, to develop sustainable methods for lithium extraction.
State owned YPFB and other operators in Bolivia plan to invest $452 million in exploration. The sector also plans to invest this year $221 million for exploitation. The investment will allow the operation of 12 exploratory wells.
The number of international tourists in Bolivia in 2019 grew by 5% compared to 2018, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE). In 2018, 2.12 million foreign visitors arrived in the country, while in 2019, 2.23 million visited Bolivia.
Bolivia’s state-owned BoA plans to invest $18 million this year as part of its renovation program. BoA’s manager, Juan Carlos Ossio, said that seven new aircraft are expected to be incorporated this year.
Farmers in at least 46 municipalities reported to the Instituto Nacional de Seguro Agrario (INSA) more than 13,000 hectares of crops damaged by climatic effects such as hail, frost and flooding. For the 2019-2020 agricultural season, INSA registered 119 municipalities and more than 226,000 hectares of crops covered by the insurance. The state institution covers up to 1,000 bolivianos ($144.8) per hectare lost.
A Bolivian trade mission, led by the Bolivian Forestry Chamber (CFB), closed a $5 million deal in principle with timber importers in China. Chinese importers showed interest in sheet wood, sawn wood and other forest products.
The World Bank approved two loans totalling $70 million to support the cities of La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra in reducing vulnerabilities to climate risks and improving the living conditions of more than 167,000 residents of lower-income areas in these regions.