Maracaibo, January 5, 2022 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) reported economic growth of 17.73 percent in the first nine months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
“With this result, there have been five consecutive trimesters of positive change in most economies, which reflect the positive performance of the country, which began in the third quarter of 2021,” the bank said.
Non-oil jobs in the country grew by 14.49 percent between January and September while the manufacturing sector grew by nearly 40 percent. Private companies accounted for 40.16 percent of the industrial recovery led by machinery, chemicals, metals, plastics, textiles, leather products, and food production, while the public sector registered an increase of 36.27% “mainly due to the re-establishment of public companies such as Venalum, Alcasa, Pequiven, and Lácteos Los Andes.”
Other sectors with the highest production growth were transportation and storage (54.35 percent), construction (34.45 percent), and trade (25.28 percent). The BCV report also showed that imports and exports increased by 32.57 and 11.43 percent, respectively.
In a recent interview, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro praised economic progress for the country’s “manufacturing power released in 2022” amid efforts to wean off oil.
“For the first time in over 100 years. [this] is the growth of the non-oil economy that produces food, goods, services, and wealth, and pays taxes. We are breaking the tax record for 2022,” said Maduro on Sunday. The country’s tax office (SENIAT) announced that it collected US$ 4.27 billion between January-November 2022, an increase of 93% compared to the same period last year.
Maduro added that Venezuela used to rely heavily on food imports, but “today we produce 94 percent of the food that goes to Venezuelan homes. It is an agricultural miracle, thanks to the many efforts of rural farmers.”
The president also said that although economic development was important there was still “huge room” for further growth through a multilateral approach.
“While we continue to be tortured and persecuted by the imperialists, what can hurt us the most is to fall into doctrines.” No! We have clear goals for building a diverse, profitable brand. “Venezuela is experiencing the first phase of a long-term transformation and economic growth, a new economy, and we will continue this way,” the Venezuelan leader stressed.
When asked about the planned fiscal deficit in the second half of 2022, Maduro pointed to “open wounds” from the years-long war against the country’s currency. According to the authorities, cryptocurrency exchanges are being used to raise the exchange rate.
“We will control this and all sectors of the economy and the government will create a sustainable transition plan to protect the economy,” Maduro promised.
Despite measures to combat the rentier economy, the recovery of the oil industry remains a priority in the government’s plans. In an interview on Sunday, President Maduro said that energy companies from the US, Asia, and Europe are welcome to invest in Venezuela, remembering that the country has the largest oil reserves in the world and currently confirms the fourth largest gas field.
According to the BCV report, oil production in Venezuela increased by 27.09 percent between January and September 2022 following the “restoration of the production capacity of unsustainable oil” from 2021. The output of the Caribbean country recovered slightly but remains temporarily between 600,000- Barrels of 700,000 per day (bpd) as companies continue to be held back by US sanctions. Exports rose sharply last year with a resurgence of junk goods in Europe.
However, production and exports are expected to rise slightly after the US company Chevron resumed operations in Venezuela following the easing of sanctions from the US Treasury Department that were imposed in November. On Tuesday, the oil giant shipped 500,000 barrels of Hamaca oil from the existing Petropiar contract (in eastern Venezuela). Their destination was the company’s refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
This is the first shipment to the US since 2018 following Washington’s economic sanctions against PDVSA last year. These measures were expanded with the 2019 oil embargo and secondary sanctions and other threats imposed in 2020.
Another ship chartered by Chevron also arrived in Venezuelan waters carrying 500,000 barrels of heavy naphtha that will be used in the Petropiar refinery, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.
“[Chevron’s return] it does not mean that any penalty has been removed. Negotiations have been carried out within the framework of the Constitution and I hope that all the projects and agreements signed will be successfully implemented,” Maduro said during his interview.
Chevron’s license was in response to the resumption of ongoing talks in México between the Maduro government and US-backed opposition in November. New negotiations have not yet been launched as previously agreed agreements are still in place and right-wing negotiators have gone through internal turmoil.
On December 29, Venezuela’s three main opposition groups voted to dissolve the “interim government” led by Juan Guaidó to replace it with a five-member “Council for the Supervision and Protection of the Economy” to oversee Venezuela’s frozen foreign assets. . This comes as anti-Chavista forces plan to hold primary elections in 2023 ahead of the 2024 presidential vote.
In response, the spokesman for the United States Department of State, Ned Price, said that Washington will continue to recognize the 2015 Parliament “as the last democratic institution in Venezuela” and received an agreement to increase its mandate.
For his part, President Maduro regretted that Washington is still “locked in the nonsense about Venezuela by supporting institutions that do not exist.” He added that Caracas “is ready to take steps to establish and maintain diplomatic, diplomatic and political relations” with the Biden administration on the basis of mutual respect.