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“We are fulfilling the commitment we acquired”: How is Bolivia doing after the first year of Luis Arce’s government?

The president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, said this Monday that his Government has been able to fulfill, already in this first year in office, with the commitment to achieve political and social stability for the population, through economic growth, industrialization with substitution of imports and the structural fight against the covid-19 pandemic.

The president offered his words during the first ordinary session of the 2021-2022 period of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, a body to which the head of state presented his first management report, explained the achievements and pointed out the challenges that the country will have until the year 2025, when the Bicentennial of its Independence will be celebrated.

“This November 8 we can say that we are fulfilling the commitment we acquired with the people: generate stability, return to the path of economic growth with social justice“Arce asserted. In addition, he added, the country is also moving towards” the path of memory, truth and justice “in the face of the events related to the coup d’état carried out in 2019 by the opposition, a sector that for this Monday called for initiate an “indefinite stoppage”.

In his speech, Arce highlighted that only in the first semester of 2021, his country has registered a 459.4% recovery in foreign direct investment (FDI) in relation to the same period of 2020, an achievement that, he said, shows that there is now “greater confidence from foreign investors to develop their projects in Bolivian territory.”

Regarding this, he indicated that the main recipients of FDI have been the oil and gas sector, with more than 187.8 million dollars received. Then come mining and quarrying, with $ 157.8 million, and manufacturing with $ 98.6 million.

Arce explained that in 2020 the image of the country was “deteriorated”, as a result of the actions of the de facto government established by Jeanine Áñez between November 2019 and October 2020, after the coup against then-President Evo Morales. As a result, he said, FDI fell “to the lowest level” in recent years, reaching just $ 162 million.

Recovery of exports and reversal of the economic crisis

The president assured that Bolivia is now on the right track, because has managed to recover democracy and exports and reverse the economic crisis which the country entered after the coup d’état and the establishment of the de facto government.

In this regard, he highlighted that between November 2020 and September 2021, Bolivia reached a “trade surplus” of 1,576 million dollars, a figure not seen since 2014, and which was achieved thanks to “a greater dynamism of exports”, which have contributed to the country a monthly average income of 866 million dollars.

He recalled that when he came to the government, the country was in a “deep economic crisis” after registering accumulated falls in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of -12.9% and -12.6% during the second and third quarters of 2020. However, since the fourth quarter of 2020, when he assumed his mandate, Bolivia began to experience a “gradual return towards a positive horizon”, which for the second quarter of 2021 recorded a cumulative GDP growth of 9.4%.

Arce explained that the reversal of the negative numbers left by Áñez was achieved after the implementation of different measures to “rebuild the economy” and find the “proper management” of the covid-19 pandemic.

“Among the measures adopted, we hardly assumed the National Government The Productive Community Social Economic Model was immediately reestablished (MESCP), through the orientation of an economic policy that promotes the dynamism of domestic demand, “he said, highlighting the various programs implemented to combat hunger and falling household income.

Likewise, he highlighted the “urgent” reactivation of public investment, as well as the implementation of the “Tax on Large Fortunes and the VAT refund policy”, the “Sí Bolivia” trust for all productive sectors that substitute imports, the Guarantee Fund (Fogadin) to cover the productive needs of the country, housing loans with “social interest”, the restart of paralyzed works and territorial policies for peasant and indigenous areas.

“Breakdown of the constitutional order”

President Arce also spoke about the negative impact that the de facto regime had in causing historical economic setbacks and the loss of fundamental human rights, such as access to education, sports and health.

“The turn of the economic policy towards the return of neoliberalism caused a break in the trajectory of the sustained growth of the country, which, accompanied by deficient policies and alien to the national reality, caused an economic crisis,” said Arce.

The president said that with the breakdown of the constitutional order a “historic” contraction of GDP was caused of -8.8%, which has been “the strongest for 67 years”.

That circumstance, he specified, occurred in the midst of a series of negative measures such as “the closure of the 2020 Educational Management”, which restricted the right to education of millions of children and adolescents, and the elimination of the Ministry of Sports, which the The de facto government called it “an absurd expense.”

Similarly, Arce said, the public health system was violated, which between November 2019 and October 2020 registered a marked decrease in medical consultations and interventions, especially for children under two years of age.

“Upon assuming the mandate, the country was mired in a deep health crisis due to the covid-19 pandemic (…) bringing mourning and impotence in the face of a clear inability of the de facto government to handle the health crisis,” said Arce .

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The head of state said that through the vaccination plan that his government began, the country already has more than 50% of the population vaccinated with two doses against the coronavirus, which caused the lethality of the disease to drop from 6.2 % in March 2020 to 0.96% in November 2021.

In addition, he stressed that now 5.8 million Bolivians are “protected” by the public health system, which is free and treats common and high-cost illnesses with medications, surgeries, laboratory or imaging tests and intensive therapy, among other services.

“Our country, today more than ever, requires that we be in tune with the feelings of Bolivian families, especially those hardest hit by the crisis, whose economy cannot stop even for a day because that means not bringing bread to their families. houses, “Arce said to summon the population to trust the process of change, to rectify in “what must be rectified” and to deepen what has been done well to face “the new challenges”.

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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