Canada exported $764.9 millions to Venezuela in 2013
Canada exported $764.9 millions to Venezuela in 2013
As part of the commercial agreement between Canada and Venezuela, in which during 2013 the items being exported towards the south american country focused in agricultural products, food and cereals, and where the value of those products ascended to 764.9 millions of dollars, while the imports from the Venezuelan soil focused on petroleum, aluminium, iron, and steel. In the last decades the best performance in the balance of both nations was year 2005, when the bilateral commercial activity reached $2.5 billion worth of products. All this was said by the president of the Venezuelan-Canadian chamber of commerce, Víctor Tovar in the interview with PanamericanWorld.
This organization, founded in 1987, gathers 56 members of the sectors of banking, legal desks, accounting, oiling and engineering services, human resources, consulting, educational consulting, auto parts and food, among others.
PW.- Since its foundation, what has been the reach of the chamber in commercial relationships with Venezuela?
VT.- The Venezuelan Canadian Chamber of Commerce (VCCC) was created with the main objective of promoting cultural, economic and commercial relations among both countries. That goal has been accomplished by providing several spaces of encounter and exchange for our members throughout the years, that are capable of encouraging and facilitating interpersonal relations and consolidating a positive business environment. This has been supplemented with the direct attention towards our members, giving them networking opportunities by offering social, management, and informative programs that are a product of the interest of the commercial and business development.
Additionally, we have the institutional support of the Canadian Embassy in Venezuela, that actively participates in our board of directors and gives its support through its commercial section.
Since its foundation, the VCCC has had an active Canadian representation; in fact, the first commercial mission happened in 1989 with the objective of creating an oil opening.
In the last decade we have offered conferences about the Canadian Market Panorama, with the support of the Canadian embassy in Venezuela, to the service of members and particulars interested in areas of opportunity in bilateral commerce.
PW.- What is the business area in Venezuela of bigger investment or interest to the Canadian businessman and vice versa?
VT.- In 2013 Canada exported $764.9 millions to Venezuela mainly in the agricultural food products and cereals (60% of the total amount of exports), followed by machinery (13%), paper (12%), medical-pharmaceutical (2.5%), electrical (2%) and others (10.5%).
From 1999 until 2013, Canadian exports to Venezuela grew by 48.7% ($529.8 millions to $787.6 millions), framed in cereals, mainly wheat, with an increase of almost 145.6%; machinery, whose growth was of 230.7%; cardboards and paper with an increase of 66.2%; and eatable vegetables whose exports grew by 84.9%. Imports to Canada from Venezuela were oil, aluminium oxide, metanol, iron and steel.
PW.- To how much did the investment of Canadian companies in Venezuela increase in 2013?
VT.- To the date we don’t have the amounts of Canadian investment in 2013. However, I can tell you that in 2012, it was of $898 millions (investment stock).
PW.- Do you think this year will be less profitable for Canadians taking into account the country’s situation?
VT.- The Chamber offers objective appreciations of the weather for investments, and the interested parties make their own decision based on these and other sources of information.
PW.- During the last 15 years, which has been the best period of commercial performance? Why do you think it happened?
VT.- During the last 15 years the best commercial performance of Canadian exports towards Venezuela was in 2008 with exports of $835.4 millions. It may have been influenced by the flow of currencies given by CADIVI in the certain main areas (agricultural-food, machinery, medical and pharmaceutical supplies) which are the majority of Canadian exports.
As in for the bilateral commercial balance, during the last 15 years among Canada and Venezuela, the best performance was 2005, period in which $2.5 billions were reached; while in the years 2007 and 2008, the same balance was of only $2.3 billions a year. During the total time from 1999 to 2013, there was a decrease in the bilateral commercial balance between the two countries of -26.4%, going from $1.5 billions to $1.1 billions.
PW.- Are there any diplomatic agreements signed in the last 10 years that have boosted the commercial relations between Venezuela and Canada?
VT.- In the last 10 years, no agreements that boost the commercial relations between the two countries have been signed. However, positive relations are still going on, and the plan is to make them better; the last signed agreement was the Double Taxation Convention, written on the 10th of june of 2001 and valid since the 5th of may of 2004.
PW.- With the changing situation in Venezuela, is the interest to invest by Canadian companies still there?
VT.- Venezuela is considered a country with a complex business environment, not only because of its changing situation, but also because of the successive devaluations there have been, the high inflation, the legal frame and other related laws. The interest for some sectors is still there, such as oil, because of this country’s great potential, and the agricultural-food and electric fields. However, the limitations of repatriating capitals, as well as the expropriations have slowed down Canadian investments in Venezuela.
PW.- Under the figure of bilateral commerce, what support does the Canadian government give to Venezuelan companies that invest in their territory?
VT.- The service of Commercial Consulting works with itsCcanadian partners so that they can give intelligence of markets, contacts and support to investors that need to identify and capitalize opportunities of foreign direct investment.
Canada gives, without a cost and in a confidential manner, specific sectorial information and intelligence of markets; helps contact useful people from the Government of Canada; consults with independent investment professionals such as lawyers, bankers, and accounting companies; organizes visits to specific locations; and information and consulting about how to make business in the country.
PW.- What is the chambers projection for the next 5 years?
VT.- “From difficulty, rises opportunity” said Albert Einstein. The Venezuelan Canadian Chamber of Commerce has this process of thought and we are sure that our business culture has prepared us to handle difficult situation and take them as new and necessary challenges to be better every time.
The Chamber stays completely active in its functions, taking care of the main expressed necessities of our members and taking into action initiatives; we try to incorporate new commercial and industrial areas, supporting membership and generating aggregate value. As every organization, we have gone through some more difficult times than others, but in general we have been stable and firm in our operations, with an active membership that goes between the 50 and 60 members in the last 4 years. We think that this is fundamental to maintain an information and exchange centre so that memberships can build relations, and we are pleased to represent them, as a trustworthy and appropriate member, in the support of their bilateral projects.