France's influential economist Thomas Piketty, author of the bestseller Capital in the 21st Century, refused to accept the country's highest award, the Legion d'Honneur, arguing it is not the government's job to decide who is honorable and criticizing policies of the current Socialist administration.
The Panama Canal Board of Directors this week formally approved the development and construction of a transshipment port in Panama’s Corozal region. Upon completion, the port will have the capacity to handle more than five million TEUs within a 120-hectare area at the Canal’s entrance to the Pacific. The project is now awaiting the final step for approval from Panama’s National Assembly.
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, could be declared in technical default on some of its foreign debt if bondholders pursue efforts to force it to speed up its assessment of losses in a giant corruption scandal, according to reports from Reuters.
Paraguay twelve-month accumulated meat and meat products exports (mostly beef) reached 1.6bn dollars according to primary information said the head of the country's National quality and health animal services, Senacasa, Hugo Idoyaga, which represents a 20% increase in value over the 1.3 bn. dollars of 2013.
The Brazilian government announced it will limit unemployment and pension benefits as part of its plans to shore up depleted finances and regain investor confidence. Likewise the Central bank said that following a fourth year of low growth, Brazil will miss its fiscal target for 2014 by a wide margin.
Venezuela confirmed on Tuesday it had entered a recession while inflation remained the highest in the Americas, but President Nicolas Maduro's populist government blamed political foes for the dismal data. According to the latest Central bank information, GDP contracted in each of the first three quarters: 4.8%, 4.9% and 2.3%, while twelve-month inflation reached 63.6% in November.
Russia’s gas giant Gazprom said in a release on Monday it had signed a deal with Eni, Wintershall and EDF on the purchase of 50% of shares in South Stream Transport BV. Thus, Gazprom will be a 100% owner of the company.
The U.N. General Assembly approved this week the financing of a plan to develop a new legal framework to restructure national debts, a move aimed at avoiding the kind of speculative action that led Argentina to a second default.
Analysts agree fiscal austerity and economic growth will be among the new government's priorities.
The Argentina firm joins the ranks of the international producers authorised to enter the Asian country's market.