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LatinNews Daily - 29 April 2021

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In brief: Bolivia’s recovery to depend on pandemic stabilisation

* The stabilisation of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic through efficient vaccination and the avoidance of further waves of infections is key to Bolivia’s economic recovery. This point was made by various speakers at an event on Bolivia organised by the international ratings agency, Moody’s Investors Service. “The health crisis continues to be complex and challenging in the whole world… and the sustained stabilisation of the pandemic, including in Bolivia, will permit the gradual reactivation of production, trade, and the sale of services”, Moody’s senior vice president for CSS strategy, Gersan Zurita, said. William Foster, vice president and senior credit officer for sovereign risk, cited as challenges debt repayments in coming years; the management of foreign currency reserves; wide fiscal deficits and fiscal consolidation; and the diversification of the economy, with the need to reduce dependency on the hydrocarbons sector, which has seen production and revenue fall in recent years, contributing to the widening deficit. Moody’s expects Bolivia’s GDP to grow around 4% this year, after contracting 7.2% in 2020, but sees an outlook of low growth in the medium term.