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Economy & Business - April 2021

LEADER
Mexico’s finance ministry (SHCP) on 31 March updated its economic growth forecast ahead of its 2022 budget proposal...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
In 2020, Ecuador’s national poverty rate by income grew by seven percentage points to 32.4%, a level not seen since 2010, while extreme poverty increased by six percentage points to just under 15%...
According to statistics compiled by the Peruvian chamber of electronic commerce (Capece), the e-commerce sector grew by 50% in Peru in 2020, recording sales of US$6bn...
On 11 February, Canadian energy company, Plateau Energy, announced that it had reached an agreement to sell its interests in both lithium and uranium deposits in the Peruvian altiplano to Canada-based American Lithium...
BOLIVIA | ‘Wealth tax’ exceeds expectations...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
AF, a Uruguayan company which administers forestry assets, said on 16 March that it had sold carbon bonds totalling 210,000 tonnes (t) of CO2 to two European-based buyers...
The Brazilian economy contracted by 4.1% last year, one of the better results in a continent ravaged by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
The government led by President Alberto Fernández has delayed a rescheduling of Argentina’s US$44bn debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until after the October congressional elections...
The four members of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay – marked the thirtieth anniversary of the regional trade bloc with an argument over whether, and how, they should flexibilise trade agreements with other countries.            ..
Pensions are likely to be at the centre of the Chilean political debate for the rest of this year...
PARAGUAY | Infrastructure project postponed for pandemic funds...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
In a Country Focus briefing released on 12 March, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned: “Much the same as some patients could suffer from lingering illnesses long after the coronavirus [Covid-19] infection has passed, the pandemic’s economic fallout might be felt in the [Caribbean] region long after the health emergency is controlled”...
Nuevas Ideas (NI), the party of President Nayib Bukele, will have an unprecedented two-thirds majority in the 84-member national assembly following the 28 February legislative elections, but Bukele’s economic plans could be constrained by the country’s precarious economic situation...
Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo and his government are sailing in choppy waters as international credit ratings agencies, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, both downgrade the country, and the private sector lobby raises concerns over the handling of the economy in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
COSTA RICA | Exports on the road to recovery...
MEXICO & USMCA
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent to Mexico’s federal congress, on 26 March, a bill that seeks to amend the hydrocarbons law to restrict the role of private sector players in the petrol fuels market- where the state-owned oil firm, Pemex, has lost ground, particularly regarding the import of petrol and diesel - since the sector was liberalised by the 2013-2014 energy reform...
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on 5 April announced that his government had reached an agreement with business organisations and labour unions regarding outsourcing regulations, which were first proposed in November 2020...
MEXICO | Pension reform...

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