Chile passed an Energy Efficiency Law. This law calls for companies to make a rational and efficient use of resources, which practically covers all energy consumption in the country: transportation, industry, mining, residential, public and commercial sectors. The Ministry of Energy will prepare a National Energy Efficiency Plan every five years. The first plan includes a goal to reduce energy intensity by at least 10% by 2030.
The Senate passed the bill to amend the Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (Fogape). The legal text extends the current transitional extension -from 100,000 UF ($3.9 million) to 1,000,000 UF ($39.4 million)- to 31 December 2021, with respect to the maximum annual net sales, established as a requirement to allow entrepreneurs access to the Fund's guarantee.
A total of 48,468 companies have applied for 366,487 workers for the employment subsidy programme. 30% of these workers applied for the "return to work" subsidy, and 70% for the "new hires" subsidy. The programme aims to encourage new hiring and to allow suspended workers to return to their jobs. The programme has a budget of $2 billion to benefit 1.3 million workers.
The Chilean peso dropped 2.1% to 741.66 per dollar, bringing its decline this year to 4%. That makes it the worst-performing of 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The reason is simple. Chile’s Central Bank announced that it plans to boost its foreign reserves, buying $40 million a day for more than a year until its holdings reach 18% of gross domestic product.
A new shipment of 88,725 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Chile from Belgium to continue with the immunization plan the government has put in place. This shipment is the third after another two that arrived in recent weeks with a cumulative 21,000 doses. The government plans to vaccinate 15 million people identified within the target population in the first half of 2021.