Venezuela’s Maduro Unveils New “Economic Offensive”

After meeting with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro outlined a “new offensive” for the Venezuelan economy, supported by three key objectives; to increase production, to eradicate scarcity and control speculation by enforcing fair prices. 

By Z.C. Dutka

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Maduro reiterated plans to export one million barrels of oil per to China (AVN)
Maduro reiterated plans to export one million barrels of oil per to China (AVN)
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Santa Elena de Uairén, April 22nd 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com)- After meeting with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro outlined a “new offensive” for the Venezuelan economy, supported by three key objectives; to increase production, to eradicate scarcity and control speculation by enforcing fair prices.

The push for increased production comes just days after leading Venezuelan steel and aluminum industries, Sidor and Venalum, signed contracts with China’s Minmetals corporation.

Maduro also mentioned the need for departure from the “rentier state” model which relies solely on the petroleum industry, and from the “parasitic model”, making reference to illicit profit-making schemes that exploit government subsidies, popularized in 2013. He called upon the Venezuelan people to reclaim pride in national productivity and to promote a healthy work ethic among their communities.

“I ask that we take on this offensive together,” said Maduro, “This [plan] will only succeed if it can rely on workers’ support, and those businesses that have a nationalist mentality… No one should wager [its] failure.”

“The new economic offensive should bring prosperity to the people and the country… Neoliberalism has a method of growth, but whose growth? What is the real growth in that kind of economy? Those who have, grow while those who never had, don’t,” said the leader this morning from the Miraflores presidential palace.

Nelson Merentes, president of the Central Bank of Venezuela said yesterday in an interview that the country is experiencing slow economic growth and rising prices, but that these factors have not affected employment rates.

Merentes revealed a series of meetings to be held between economic ministers, the Central Bank and private sectors, to draft a “debt timeline, to get back on track.”

Conditions have improved for imports and exports since the introduction of the new monetary exchange system Sicad II, Merentes said. He revealed part of the government measures will focus on increasing export of “nontraditional products”.

Despite the odds, he’s confident the new plan will provide the “necessary mechanisms and solutions to overcome the difficulties we’re experiencing at this time.”