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Economy & Business - July 2021

LEADER
President Nayib Bukele is moving ahead with plans to make the cryptocurrency, bitcoin, legal tender in El Salvador despite concerns at home and abroad...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
A June report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has highlighted that global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) fell significantly in 2020...
Finally, after seven weeks that saw Colombians take to the streets in unprecedented numbers to oppose a long-since scrapped tax reform, the Andean nation’s economy has some respite...
The porosity of the Colombia-Venezuela border is mostly discussed by the politicians of both countries in terms of security risks...
After only recently passing a tax reform in December 2019, Ecuador is once again bracing itself for a new tax changes, which analysts argue is necessary to ensure long term fiscal sustainability as oil revenues progressively decline...
ECUADOR | Counting the businesses lost to the pandemic...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
After earlier senate approval, on 21 June Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies voted through a bill to privatise the state-owned electricity company, Eletrobras...
The threat of Argentina falling into another international payments default on 31 July has been avoided, thanks to a bridging finance deal with Argentina’s Paris Club creditors...
After a bruising three years of falling activity levels there are early signs that Argentina’s economy is bottoming out...
Paraguay’s economy showed resilience to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic during 2020, with GDP dropping by only 0.6%...
Until recently, Uruguay had no unicorns (tech-based start-ups which grow to be valued at US$1bn or more)...
CHILE | Positive economic indicators despite pandemic...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
On 10 June Alicia Bárcena, the head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) emphasised the organisation’s commitment to the Comprehensive Development Plan for northern Central America and southern Mexico...
Perhaps not surprisingly given the level of debt carried by her government (148.9% of GDP), Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados continues to be the strongest advocate for debt relief for the Caribbean...
COSTA RICA | Exports show signs of recovery...
Perhaps not surprisingly given the level of debt carried by her government (148.9% of GDP), Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados continues to be the strongest advocate for debt relief for the Caribbean...
MEXICO & USMCA
July 1 marked the first anniversary of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on regional trade that replaced the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta)...
Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) reported on 24 June that year-on-year inflation during the first fortnight of June reached 6.02%, double the 3% target set by the central bank (Banxico), and almost twice the 3.17% rate recorded during the same period of 2020...
On 2 June the media reported that the government led by Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is no longer seeking to nationalise lithium production and instead has plans to attract private investors to extract the metal, which is mostly used to make batteries...
MEXICO| Investment agreement with Hong Kong...

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