201901.15
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TLA Times | January 15, 2019

SNAPSHOT
Annual percentage GDP growth in Chile.


Source: data.worldbank.org


EXCHANGE RATE


Figures from Jan. 11 Source: www.xe.com


FUN IN THE SUN

Botanical garden draws from Rome, France, Asia.
 
Jardín Botánico in Buenos Aires was designed by a Frenchman who lived in an English-style mansion. Carlos Thays was the city's director of Parks & Walkways and he created many of the open spaces in Buenos Aires. He was especially fond of the idea of a botanical garden in the growing city. He drew on many traditions for the project. He created a garden that has a section in French style, a section in Roman style and a section in an Asian style. The garden also features native plants form Argentina. His home is now a library and museum in the heart of the garden.  Details
BRAZIL

Google’s cloud computing increases customer base by 330 percent.

ZD Net reports that the number of organizations in Brazil using Google’s cloud platform more than tripled in 2018.  Google launched a cloud region for Latin America in 2017. Google made it possible to pay for services in reals instead of dollars, a huge benefit for small businesses. Google Brazil head Fábio Coelho has said the company plans to invest $32 million in Brazil in the coming months. Details


VENEZUELA

Cocoa growers say government making business more difficult. 

Cocoa growers complain there is a new challenge that came with this year’s harvest, government interference, Reuters reports. Growers say truckloads of their crops have been seized or held up by government officials. The growers fear the socialist government is going to nationalize their industry. The government has already nationalized oil, manufacturing, sugar and coffee – and run them into the ground. Details


MEXICO 

Major hotel brands planning to build around 300 projects.

Mexico News Daily reports that the big players in Mexico’s hotel sector are investing heavily in projects. City Express Hotels is planning to open 80 properties in the next three years. AMResorts has 66 hotels in its pipeline.  Marriot, the NH Group, Hoteles Misión and the Intercontinental Hotels Groups will open about 150 properties. The figures come from a CBRE study and might change now the new Mexico City airport has been canceled. Details

Bicycles, scooters gain popularity as gas stations run out of fuel.

It is a good time to be renting bikes and scooters in Mexico. Those vehicles have gained popularity because of a shortage of gas, Reuters reports via CNBC.  Gas shortages have hit urban areas after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador shut down pipelines to fight against fuel theft. Bike and scooter sharing companies say demand has shot up.  "It's a big opportunity for those companies to show that new alternatives can be substitutes for traditional cars, for short distances," says Miguel Abad, a spokesman for trade group Mobility as a Service for Latin America.  Details

How super can the big game be if there is no guacamole at the party.

The Packer reports despite gas shortages in Mexico and media reports of a possible avocado shortage, importers say there is nothing to worry about yet. Of course they are keeping a close eye on the situation. The Super Bowl is Feb. 3, and that is a big day for avocados.  Sales hit a four-year high for last year’s game. “We expect this week to be a very good harvest and a very important week, jumpstarting the Super Bowl push,” one produce executive tells the trade publication.  Details