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Get to Know Venezuela

International trade success is not only about you and your customers. Learn business facts about the countries that you trade with and familiarize yourself with the different business practices, cultures, customs and economics.

At a Glance

Venezuela spans 352,143 square miles (912,050 square kilometers) of land that is home to 28 million people of diverse ethnic ancestry.

The U.S. State Department notes that this contraction indicates a decrease in government expenditures and private consumption as a result of a drop in oil prices. The economic contraction continued in 2010 when real GDP decreased by 3.5% during the period January-June 2010 compared with the same period of 2009. The Consumer Price Index increased by 27.9% from September 2009 until September 2010, following increases of 25.1% in 2009, 30.9% in 2008, and 22.5% in 2007.


Financial Facts:
  • The country's 2009 GDP is US$329 billion, or US$11,509 per capita
  • Decline of 3.9% from 2008


Although the country is in a period of strong economic growth and is an active participant in international trade, the U.S. State Department notes that the Venezuelan government “dominates the economy” by way of its control of the state-owned petroleum and electricity sectors as well as “important parts of the telecommunications and media sectors. Cement and steel production was nationalized in spring 2008, as were some companies in the milk and meat distribution sectors. The consequence of these and other developments is, the State Department cautions, “reduced space for the private sector and low levels of private investment.

Perhaps you’re interested in establishing a partnership with one of the country’s exporters. You may be considering joint ventures with Venezuelan companies, franchise or licensing opportunities or sales of your products and services in Venezuela. Whatever your interests and needs, the resources provided here will lead you to information that can support your entry into this market.

The Federation of International Trade Associations reports that foreign trade represents 55% of Venezuela’s GDP but cautions that the unemployment rate is “nearly 20% of the active population, and 60% of the population still lives below poverty line.” These economic conditions and the trend toward nationalization create international trade challenges, but enterprising importers and exporters in key sectors may find opportunity in this growing market.

The United States, Venezuela's largest trading partner, is the target of 57.5% of its exports and the source of 27% of its imports.