The industrial sector decreased by 11 per cent in 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic and, six months after the arrival of Luis Arce to power, he regrets that this sector has not called to discuss actions to reactivate the economy and recover the approximately 70,000 jobs lost.
Empresa Siderúrgica Mutún (ESM) informed that the progress in the construction of the steel plant is 5.5 per cent and that the project expects to complete by the end of 2023 when the factory produces at least 200 thousand tons of corrugated steel per year. The state-owned ESM has already disbursed to the Chinese company Sinosteel, in charge of executing the project, 37 per cent of the amount agreed for the construction of the steel plant, which amounts to $546 million.
One out of every ten inhabitants of Cochabamba is unemployed. At least 80 thousand people in the department are out of work, and, as of the first quarter of 2021, there are no signs of economic recovery. According to the business sector, the complex financial situation is due to several factors: smuggling, lack of support from the authorities, and lack of competitiveness.
The National Tax Service (SIN) reported yesterday that Internal Market (IM) tax collection grew 67.5 per cent between January and April 2021, compared to a similar period last year. However, given the restrictions on economic activities in 2020 due to the quarantine, these cannot be comparable periods.
The unattractive conditions for attracting investments in hydrocarbon exploration in Bolivia reflected in the decisions taken by the foreign operators Petrobras and YPF: the former put its assets up for sale to complete its exit from Bolivia, and the latter opted to reduce its participation in the exploration of the Charagua area by 40 per cent.