The international trade of Latin America and the Caribbean will decline this year by 23% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forces a 9.1% decline in the regional economy, says a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Both exports, whose value will shrink 23% this year, and imports, which will be down 25%, will be affected—the setbacks in Latinamerica's shipments of manufactured goods, minerals and fuel. The collapse of tourism (-50%) will drag down service exports, especially from the Caribbean, while intraregional trade will also show a sharp contraction of -23.9%, especially in manufactures.
The construction of the red, yellow and green lines of the Cochabamba Metropolitan Train will be resumed, 72 million bolivianos ($10.34 mn) were disbursed, with which the payments to the Accidental Tunari Association (AAT) in charge of building the work that will unite six municipalities in the department of Cochabamba reactivated.
The Mutun steel project to date has disbursed around 104 million dollars. However, there are inconsistencies in the progress of the work; the government argues that the development is 3% and the Consul General of China Wang Jialei reported that the company Sinosteel, which executes the project, has an advance of 40%. The steel plant has already had two failed attempts: with the Brazilian EBX in 2006 and with the Indian Jindal in 2012. In January 2019, the construction of the steel plant began with a 30-month completion period.
The trade balance as of the first semester had a negative balance of $38 million, according to data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE). Adding external sales during the first half of this year, the figures show a turnover 26% lower than that recorded in the same period of the past administration. Imports also registered a drop of 35%.
The Federation of Cattlemen of Beni (Fegabeni) informed this Tuesday that in nine days of blockade the sector lost 17 million Bolivians ($2.44 mn). In this situation, air bridges are being built, which increases costs and forces the price of a kilo of meat to rise in the cities of La Paz and El Alto.