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Economy & Business - February 2021

LEADER
Ecuador’s mining sector grew substantially in 2020, albeit from a low base, as large-scale mining production accelerated rapidly after being launched in late 2019...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
In his annual address on 12 January, Venezuela’s de facto president, Nicolás Maduro, announced his intention for the country to move to a 100% digital economy in 2021, in an effort to tackle the problem of hyperinflation, which has plagued the country for years...
It was announced in January that the new Duna and Huambos wind farms – both located in the province of Chota, Cajamarca region – had been connected to Peru’s national electricity grid...
BOLIVIA | Biodiesel plant...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
There are at least two global economic revolutions going on right now: the ‘green energy’ revolution and what has been called the fourth industrial revolution (4IR)...
Rio de Janeiro’s 2021 carnival, originally due this month but postponed to July because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, has now been completely cancelled...
Argentina’s state-owned oil company, YPF, is struggling with operating losses, a difficult transition to shale oil, a disputed debt restructuring, and a change in leadership...
A one-off 3% asset tax targeting Argentina’s wealthiest residents came into force on 1 February, sparking a mix of praise and complaints...
The Asociación Rural del Paraguay (ARP), the country’s most powerful agricultural and livestock lobby group, has repeated its call for the government to open diplomatic relations with the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC), a move that would imply de-recognising the island of Taiwan (which formally describes itself as the Republic of China – ROC)...
Chile is building more ‘clean energy’ capacity and is beginning to ease back on fossil fuels...
URUGUAY | Catching up on number portability...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
Tourism is a major contributor to Central American economies and regional governments are scrambling to rebuild the industry amid continued disruption caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Costa Rica appears to have made some progress in finding a solution to its fragile fiscal position, but ratings agencies warn the danger has not passed...
The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) began drilling an exploratory well on 20 December 2020 amid a swirl of conflicting emotions...
COSTA RICA/PANAMA | Trade dispute before WTO...
MEXICO & USMCA
Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) published its latest GDP growth figures on 29 February...
Although attracting domestic and foreign private investment is instrumental for sparking an economic recovery, the government led by Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador continues to pursue policies that undermine the local business environment and investor confidence...
Another controversial reform bill that is due to be debated by Mexico’s congress in the new period of ordinary sessions that began on 1 February is that affecting the central bank (Banxico)...
Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) reported on 8 February that national vehicle production in January reached 287,711 units, 15% lower than in the same month of 2020...
Eurobond issue: On 18 January, Mexico’s finance ministry (SHCP) announced that it had issued two euro-denominated bonds worth a total of €1.8bn (US$2.1bn) in international markets...

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