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Economy & Business - January 2021

LEADER
The Argentine government led by President Alberto Fernández completed the first of its four years in office on 10 December 2020...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
After more than a month of negotiations, representatives from the Ecuadorean and US governments met in Quito in December 2020 to sign a new ‘protocol on trade rules and transparency’, covering issues including customs provisions, regulatory practices, anti-corruption measures, and support for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)...
The repeal on 4 December 2020 of a 20-year-old law regulating Peru’s agricultural sector, prompted by protests held by farm workers across the country, launched a protracted national debate over what form the new agrarian law should take...
Coal mining company Cerrejón announced on 30 November 2020 that an agreement had been reached with mine workers’ union, Sintracarbón, to bring an end to a strike that for 91 days had paralysed operations at the Cerrejón mining complex – the largest open-pit coal mine in Latin America, located in north-east Colombia’s La Guajira department...
BOLIVIA | Natural gas windfall...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
The Brazilian economy is set to recover this year...
Until recently, the conventional narrative has been that Uruguay is escaping the worst of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, and that the economy is all the better for it...
On 7 January Portugal’s Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said his country would try and conclude the deadlocked free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) during its six-month rotating presidency of the EU, which runs until the end of June...
Although still suffering the knock-on effects of a long-running corruption scandal, Chilean lithium miner Sociedad Química y Minera (SQM) has signed a promising long-term sales agreement with LG Energy Solutions...
PARAGUAY | A good year for beef...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
Central America faces an uphill battle to recover from the impact of two powerful hurricanes in the midst of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Central America fell 6.4% from 2018-2019, according to a recent report from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac), but has proven more resilient than FDI to the region as a whole, which fell 7.8% for the period...
According to the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB’s) latest Quarterly Bulletin (December 2020), the Trinidad & Tobago economy will have contracted by 5.6% in 2020...
CUBA | Dual currency system ends...
MEXICO
The reform of the pension system first announced by Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador last July came into force on 16 December 2020, when it was published on the official gazette (DOF)...
The Mexico City (CDMX) government announced on 27 November 2020 that it had awarded a subsidiary of China Railway Corporation (CRCC), CRRC Zhuzhou, a contract to upgrade one of the capital’s main underground railway lines...
Employees of Mexican carrier Interjet went on strike after months of seeking solutions to their demands in early January...
CFE investment plan: On 8 December 2020, Mexico’s state-owned electricity company, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), announced plans to invest M$62.75bn (US$3.18bn) in electricity generation projects over the next five years...

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