Argentina is the fourth country in Latin America that recorded the most significant increase in poverty in 2020 with the pandemic. In Peru, poverty rose 9.9 percentage points over the previous year; in Ecuador, the increase was 7.3 points and in Colombia, 6.8. Fourth on the podium is Argentina, with a rise of 6.5 percentage points. In the second half of 2019, 35.5% of the population was poor, while at the end of 2020, the figure was 42%.
After Mercado Libre reported in its balance sheet holdings of almost $8 million in Bitcoin, now another Argentine unicorn showed its cards in the crypto world. Globant reported to the US SEC that it owns $500,000 in this same digital asset.
According to the report on the health situation in Buenos Aires, the occupancy of ICU beds in the public health system is 79%. There are only 115 intensive care beds available out of a total of 550.
In the second half of the year, the Ministry of Science and Technology will issue a call for proposals to promote the development of hydrogen and lithium. In addition, there will be support for solar, wind and biomass energy as complements. The State will disburse the amount in principle 700 million pesos ($7.52 mn), but it could escalate up to 800 million pesos ($8.5 mn).
EDELAP, a company of the DESA Group, informed that it put into service a new substation built in the town of Bavio, district of Magdalena, adding 15 MVA (megawatts) to its high voltage system, and two new 13.2 kV trunk lines belonging to the medium-voltage network. The company has already completed works for more than 1,300 million pesos ($13.8 mn) to improve the reliability and operation of the networks that supply the industrial companies in the region and all the users in the southern area of La Plata.
The government confirmed that the State would reach 218 billion pesos ($2.31 bn) in SMEs between 2020 and 2021. It will deepen the financial inclusion agenda and committed new funds for digitalization.
Argentina's fintech ecosystem experienced a substantial boost during the pandemic. It currently has 302 companies, 20% of which created in the last year. Now, the sector plans to increase its staff by 40% this year, which is equivalent to incorporating some 5,600 people. In this way, it will reach a total of 20,000 jobs.
During April, industrial production in SMEs continued on a path of tenuous recovery, although it is still below pre-pandemic levels: a 76.9% growth compared to the same month last year when there was a 53.1% drop due to the effect of the pandemic. Compared to 2019, there was a contraction of 17.1%.
With the support of BICE (Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior), the agricultural company Ingacot, dedicated to the breeding and reproduction of pigs, is investing more than 100 million pesos ($1.06 mn) in expanding the production capacity of its farm located in the town of Bolívar, Buenos Aires.
In 2020, digital payments grew throughout the region due to the isolation measures by Covid 19. According to the Argentine Fintech Chamber, e-commerce platforms, virtual wallets, and online tools increased by 60%.