Venezuela open to barter system to boost trade ties

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 11, 2019 Published on February 11, 2019

Manuel Quevedo   -  Reuters

Reiterating that Venezuela wants to continue trading with India despite the ongoing turbulence in the country, Venezuela’s Minister of Petroleum, Manuel Quevedo, said, “It is very important to listen to all the consuming countries to maintain the balance of demand and supply...We have a good relationship with India and we want to continue this relationship.”

“Venezuela has a presidency at the moment and India certainly has good and healthy relationship with us and all the members of the OPEC and that will continue. So, we always keep these communications and relations with all consuming countries in order to ensure stability, and the balance will continue,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of Petrotech-2019. India has been considering setting up a rupee-payment mechanism for trade with Venezuela, besides exporting rice and drugs to the South American nation, all in return for crude oil.

The Ministries of Commerce, Finance and Petroleum were looking into the proposal.

“Venezuela is among the top 10 crude oil suppliers to India. Since the size of the business would run into several millions, it needs to have a proper trade balance.

“So, there could be the possibility of using the rupee-payment system as a trade off: Venezuela wants to sell oil, India has to look at what it can sell besides rice and pharmaceuticals, to make the mechanism more attractive,” an official had said, adding that the arrangement “could work like a barter system.” The rupee-payment mechanism is not a new concept, but there is a general agreement that the strategy for Venezuela cannot be similar to that for sanctions-hit Iran.This mechanism is also being considered to benefit Indian exporters, particularly pharmaceutical products and non-basmati rice.

Published on February 11, 2019
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