Venezuela economy to shrink 7-10 pct this year -business chamber

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuela’s asphyxiating economy will contract between 7 and 10 percent this year, the head of the country’s main business chamber Fedecamaras said on Wednesday at the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit in Caracas.

Fedecamaras’ president said that leftist President Nicolas Maduro’s new, globally-condemned legislative superbody would only deepen a severe economic crisis, in which millions are suffering food and medicine shortages.

“We do not see that the National Constituent Assembly is going to be a solution, rather we believe that it will deepen, in a very important way, the serious economic situation that Venezuelans are experiencing,” Carlos Larrazabal, Fedecamaras’ president, said in an interview.

The 60-year-old U.S.-educated businessman said the country needed to change its socialist model.

“The private sector is part of the solution and not part of the problem,” he said at Fedecamaras’ headquarters in a middle class area of Caracas near where anti-government protests have convulsed the country for four months.

Fedecamaras has long been at odds with the government after its president at the time, Pedro Carmona, briefly became interim president of the country in a 2002 coup against late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Unpopular President Nicolas Maduro blames the crisis on an “economic war” by the business elite as well as Washington. The president says the assembly is necessary to achieve peace in Venezuela.

For Larrazabal, the “economic war” is in fact against the private sector rather than waged by it. According to his records, since Hugo Chávez took office in 1999, the government has expropriated more than 1,500 businesses and 5.2 million hectares of land “which today are not productive.”

Although there have been no official figures for almost two years, the economy contracted 18.6 percent in 2016, the worst in 13 years, according to data obtained by Reuters in early 2017.

“All the indicators reflect that gross domestic product is going to fall this year between 7 and 10 percent,” said the businessman. “We are falling faster than the U.S. economy fell in the crisis of the 1930s.”

 

Comments  

Chinese ambassador to Jamaica chides local professionals, players who want MOU halted

(Jamaica Gleaner) Halt the “ill-conceived” agreement that guarantees Chinese investors US$1 million in the Government Oval project, local construction players are demanding of the Government in an intensification of their lobby against the deal.

Venezuela-U.S. relations at lowest point ever -Maduro

CARACAS/BOGOTA, (Reuters) – Relations between Caracas and Washington are at their lowest point ever, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said yesterday in a speech at the presidential palace for international media that was televised to the nation.

Ex-Petrobras CEO Bendine charged with corruption in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO,  (Reuters) – Brazilian prosecutors yesterday charged Aldemir Bendine, the former chief executive of state-controlled oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, with corruption, alleging he used his position to take bribes from construction firm Odebrecht.

T&T PM: All wasn’t well with Tobago ferry procurement

(Trinidad Express) Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley admitted yesterday that something went drastically wrong and was crooked in the procurement of the passenger ferry the Ocean Flower 2.

Chile court ruling ends abortion ban; new law allows in limited cases

SANTIAGO, (Reuters) – A Chilean court on Monday ruled that a law legalizing abortion in certain cases is constitutional, a win for President Michelle Bachelet’s centre-left coalition and for groups that have campaigned for years against the country’s strict ban.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×