Venezuela Business Opportunities

flag venezuelaVenezuela remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for roughly 90% of export earnings, more than 50% of the federal budget revenues, and around 30% of GDP.

Map of Venezuela
Key Industries:
Petroleum, Construction Materials, Food Processing, Textiles, Iron Ore Mining, Steel, Aluminum, Motor Vehicle Assembly
 
Key Imports:
Raw Materials, Machinery and Equipment, Transport Equipment, Construction Materials, Agricultural Products, Medical Equipment
 
Key Exports:
Petroleum, Bauxite and Aluminum, Steel, Chemicals, Agricultural, Minerals

Trade Environment

In 2016, the Country’s leading markets for exports were U.S. 26.6%, China 11.7%, India 13.7% and Cuba 6.4%.  Its leading suppliers were U.S. 18.4%, Colombia 5.9%, Brazil 9.7%, China 15.3% and Mexico 4.2%.

Its key trade agreement is the Mercosur pact, which includes Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela.

Business and Market Sector Opportunities

Oil and Gas • Information Technology • Retail • Consumer Goods • Agriculture Cattle

Economic Background and Situation

President CHAVEZ in 2007 nationalized firms in the petroleum, communications, and electricity sectors.  Chavez’s proposed constitutional changes were rejected by voters in December 2007.  President MADURO, CHAVEZ's successor, still has significant control of the economy and has indicated he intends to continue to centralize authority over the economy by continuing to implement socialism-based changes.

Under President MADURO, the Venezuela government response to the widely publicized economic and food shortage crises has been to increase state control over the economy, and blame the private sector for shortages.  Inflation remains at triple digit levels.  Additionally, the government continues to maintain strict currency controls.  The currency controls present significant obstacles to trade with Venezuela because importers cannot obtain sufficient dollars to purchase goods to maintain their operations.  

Additional Resources:
American Chamber of Commerce Venezuela
Mercosur

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Venezuela Fast Facts

Capital: Caracas
Key Cities: Maracaibo, Valencia, Puerto Ayacucho
Population 31.3 million ('17 E)
GDP Growth %

-12.0 (‘17 E)            -16.5 ('16 E)

GDP 468.6 billion US$ ('16E)
GDP per Capita 12,400 US$ ('17 E)
Inflation Rate (%) 652.7 ('17 E) 
Exports 29.2 (’17 E) billion US$
Imports   17.8 (’17 E) billion US$
Exchange Rate
Local Currency-US$
437.1 ('17 E)
E = Estimate F = Forecast

 

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