Venezuelan imports from Russia soar 308% in 2008-2010
The increase is mainly due to purchases for the Venezuelan military industry
The year-on-year growth of trade among the Russian Federation, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was 30%, between 2004 and 2009. However, in 2009-2011, trade tripled, according to a report presented by the Latin America and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) in a regional meeting.
The document highlights that the trade balance between Russia and Latin America is positive for the region as a whole, even though some countries have a negative trade balance. Nevertheless, in 2010, "LAC exported to this emerging economy (Russia) 138% more than it imported, which represents a difference of some USD 6.30 billion. This amount is significantly higher than in previous years."
The European Union is Russia s most important partner, with 49.4% of the exports and 47.1% of the imports in 2011. In the Latin American and Caribbean region, Russia s most important partner is Brazil, but it accounts for a very small quota of Russia s total trade.
The paper emphasizes that since the beginning of the present Venezuelan government, in 1999, a process of rapprochement also began between Venezuela Presidents Hugo Chávez and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Agreements on energy, science and technology were signed gradually.
It also stresses that "Venezuela s imports from Russia are remarkable. They soared 308% between 2008 and 2010, from USD 238 million to USD 973 million. With this amount, in just three years, Venezuela ranked second in Latin America in terms of volume, in spite of a decrease in 2009."
The paper explains that "this increase is due to the implementation of the agreements under which Russia supplies military equipment to Venezuela, including aircraft, missile system, weapons, spare parts and other supplies. Besides, Venezuela imports civil aviation technology, fertilizers, oil byproducts (plastics, rubber and its related products). It is the only country of the region with an unfavorable trade balance."
Translated by Karen Daza
About 210,000 Cubans have been to Venezuela until 2012, as part of an alliance established by Hugo Chávez. A number of agreements have enabled Cubans to take part in a wide range of government plans and social welfare, from health to national intelligence to security.