Venezuelan State extends an invitation to build economic areas for export

Venezuelan businesspersons of the public and private sector held the sixth session of the Standing Working Group for Export involving the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. There, President Maduro proposed to “build a productive economic area of the highest level, with export capacity, and go for markets in a stable way, with the State full support.”

At Ayacucho Hall, Miraflores presidential palace, Caracas, President Maduro highlighted that production for export is and will be a center piece in a Venezuela resolved to abandon the oil rent-seeking scheme.

“It is the new economy and Venezuela has everything ready to build a route that will be modest; it will have a modest startup, but will lay the foundations to become the economic alternative of Venezuela in the 21st Century,” he elaborated.

Likewise, the Venezuelan president advised that the way of bureaucracy should be overcome. He reported on progress such as the single export license, issued through the e-system.

“It has been set up; the first export has been made through this single license; they are new mechanisms that should make everything easier. That was a proposal brought forward from the working groups,” he stressed.

In addition, in the meeting with businesspersons and entrepreneurs government authorities also disclosed the establishment of a presidential agency for export was disclosed that will be coordinated by Minister of Trade Isabel Delgado.

The Ad-Hoc Export Administration will work in tandem with the Foreign Trade Bank (Bancoex), the National Center for Foreign Trade (Cencoex), and the National Corporation for Foreign Trade (Corpoex), as well as a set of companies from the export sector.

New economic areas

Under the enabling law, in this sixth work session for export, President Maduro decreed the establishment of Paraguaná and San Antonio del Táchira-Ureña Special Economic Areas.

He noted that San Antonio del Táchira-Ureña Special Economic Area is aimed at supplying domestic products by legal means to Colombia and fight in this way against smuggling of Venezuelan goods in Colombia.

“One thing is smuggling; another, different thing, is exporting,” President Maduro warned, in case of bias and misunderstanding of counter-smuggling efforts.
“We need to build once and for all an exporting production system within the framework of the new economic model of fair distribution,” he added.

In this regard, President Maduro also requested the Minister of Trade to work on a proposal to export to the intertwined markets at the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Petrocaribe and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur).

Export funding

Through Bancoex, in this working group for export, President Maduro extended funding to potential Venezuelan exporters.

They include, among others: Industria de Fabricación de Radiadores (Infra); Industrias Tecvemar, a granite maker; Fundición Pacífico, manufacturer of restroom fixtures and building materials; Lincoln Soldaduras and Destilerías Unidas (Dusa).

President Maduro informed that the capital stock of Bancoex will be extended from USD 150 million to USD 300 million to increase its funding capacity and enhance production for export.

Likewise, President Maduro praised Bancoex program for export promotion, Venezuela Exporta, that has collected more than USD 270 million in business intents with 16 editions in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

“They showed the (Venezuelan) products, which were taken out from their hands,” he noted in reference to an exhibition of this export promotion program which toured this year Bolivia, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Cuba and Argentina.

In the dialogue of the exporting sector, the Vice-President for Corporate Affairs of Nestlé de Venezuela, Andrés Alegrett, also took the floor.

“We need to become a reliable exporter for those who are waiting for our products. We propose to place a certain product within a timeframe that should be met. Customers need to receive it. And these hurdles, or those delays could make us look less dependable,” he explained.

On behalf of the Venezuelan Granite-Makers’ Association (Anagraven), Arnoldo García, the CEO of Canteras & Mármoles, told the business sector about the advantage of making headway under the Venezuelan State umbrella towards high export levels and the challenge involved in it.

“I think that the message would be double the production and treble the commitment,” he reasoned.

From the peace conference to working restlessly on export

The Standing Working Group for Export emerged from the Peace Conference called by the National Government on February 26-27, 2014, in reply to the violent actions of hardcore rightwing sectors intended to take over the political power in Venezuela.

Businesspersons and top government authorities met at Miraflores presidential palace to discuss upfront their different country visions. Despite being at odds, all of them welcome the appeal for peace made by President Nicolás Maduro.

Afterwards, in the first meeting of the Peace Conference, on Friday, February 28, a working meeting was convened and named as the Economy Round Table, involving several sectors in this area.

A total of 28 working groups were established to deal with several domestic issues, including the Working Group for Export. Later on, it became a standing forum, not only of dialogue but work, planning and decision making to foster productivity for export.

The Standing Working Group for Export made progress with a first meeting that gathered more than 300 Venezuelan entrepreneurs on March 11-21 at Meliá Caracas Hotel.

This first session, hosted by Bancoex, dealt with subjects such as funding, logistics, inputs for production, licenses and legal affairs. They would set the guidelines for subsequent work sessions.

Furthermore, attending entrepreneurs refused non-peaceful protests that threatened Venezuelans’ human rights and free transit and delivery of goods, and adversely affected the country production and trade.

The Standing Working Group for Export is a continued dialogue between public and private companies; it means joining efforts to change the rent-seeking system of the 20th Century; it is a common path for a new culture of construction of Venezuela as a production power.