About Us India-Venezuela Relations

India-Venezuela Relations

India and Venezuela have always enjoyed cordial relations. There is a similarity of views on major international, political and economic issues. Besides actively promoting bilateral relations, the two countries cooperate in multilateral forums. The countries mark the 60th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2019. Resident Embassies have been in Caracas and New Delhi for over four decades.  Venezuela is one of  India's largest oil suppliers.

Political

Venezuela has declared India as one of its main foreign policy priorities along with China, Russia and Iran. A major thrust to the bilateral relationship was imparted by former President Hugo Chavez´s State Visit to India on 4-7 March 2005. He held bilateral talks with former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Six Agreements/MoUs were signed, including on setting up of a Joint Commission and cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.

Former Foreign Minister of Venezuela, Mr. Nicolas Maduro (now President) visited India to attend the First Meeting of the India-CELAC Troika Foreign Ministers held in New Delhi on 7 August 2012. India was led by former External Affairs Minister, Shri S.M. Krishna.

Shri V.S. Sampath, former Chief Election Commissioner of India visited Caracas from 27 August to 1 September 2012 to attend an International Seminar on “Innovation and Technological Vanguard: Automated Voting Systems”. The Election Commission of India (ECI) and the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela signed an MoU during the visit. The President of CNE visited India in January 2010 to attend the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of ECI and again in 2011.

Then President and then Prime Minister of India condoled the passing away of President Hugo Chavez on 5 March 2013. Shri Sachin Pilot, former Minister of State for Corporate Affairs represented India at the State funeral of President Chavez. Shri Pilot paid his condolences to President Chavez’s mother, Mrs. Elena Frias de Chavez and to then Acting President, Mr. Nicolas Maduro.

External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj met former Executive Vice President Mr. Jorge Arreaza on 22 April 2015 on the sidelines of Asia Africa Summit 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

MinisterofStateforExternalAffairs, Gen. (Dr.) V. K. Singh visited Caracas on 24-25 May 2015. He heldmeetingswithformer Vice President, Mr. Jorge Arreaza, ForeignMinister Dr. Delcy Rodriguez and formerOil and MiningMinister, Mr. AsdrubalChavez.

External Affairs Minister, Smt. Sushma Swaraj had a pull aside with Foreign Minister Dr. Delcy Rodriguez in New York on 30 September 2015 on the sidelines of UNGA session.

Former Venezuelan FM Dr Delcy Rodriguez led a 14 member delegation including Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino and Vice Minister Felix Plasencia to visit India during 17-18 August 2016. Dr. Rodriguez handed over an invitation from President Maduro for India’s participation in the 17th NAM Summit. The delegation had meetings with EAM Smt Sushma Swaraj and MOS for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge) Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. The two sides agreed to move ahead for an early finalization of a number of agreements in various areas and early holding of the next JCM.

The 17th NAM Summit was held in Margarita Island in Venezuela during 17-18 September 2016. Former Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari represented India at the Summit whereas MOS for External Affairs, Shri M.J. Akbar and PR to UN led the Ministerial and SOM respectively. Terrorism and UN reforms were the focal areas of India's intervention at the Summit. Former VP had a bilateral meeting with President Maduro.

Venezuelan FM Arreaza signed the International Solar Agreement on November 6, 2017. President Maduro ratified the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement on March 6, 2018. Venezuela sent a high-level delegation to the International Solar Alliance Founding Conference in New Delhi on March 11, 2018, led by FM Jorge Arreaza and accompanied by Minister of Foreign Trade, Vielma Mora and Petroleum Minister, Manuel Quevedo. On the sidelines, the delegation met the Indian  Commerce and Industry Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu and Petroleum Minister, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. Although President Maduro was supposed to lead the delegation in the Summit, he cancelled his visit at the last minute, citing pre-occupations concerning the forthcoming Presidential elections. Venezuela did not participate in the 1st Assembly of the ISA held at New Delhi from October 3-5, 2018.

EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj met the FM of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza on the sidelines of Mid-term Ministerial meeting of NAM on 5 April 2018. President of the Supreme Court, H.E. Maikel Moreno participated in the 19th International Conference of Chief Justices of the World held in India from 14-20 November 2018 in Lucknow.

Of late, the Executive Vice President, Dr. Delcy Rodriguez and the Foreign Minister, Jose Arreaza have indicated that President Maduro wants to visit India.

 

Commercial

An MoU on the establishment of an Indo-Venezuelan Joint Commission was signed during President Chavez’s visit to India in 2005. Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, former Minister of State (External Affairs) led the Indian delegation for the first session of the Joint Commission in August 2005 in Caracas. The 2nd JCM, led by Shri Salman Khurshid, former EAM and Mr. Elias Jaua, former Foreign Minister of Venezuela was held in Delhi on 20 December 2013. 9 Vice Ministers of Venezuela dealing with Petrochemicals, External Trade, Agriculture, Food, Health, Air and Water Transport, Telecommunications, IT & Postal Services, Culture and Education accompanied Mr. Jaua.

Shri Murli Deora, former Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas visited Venezuela in May 2010 to witness the signing ceremony of the Carabobo oil project. During Shri Deora’s call on former President Chavez, the latter agreed to supply more crude oil to India.

Shri JyotiradityaScindia, former Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, along with a 20-member CII business delegation paid an official visit to Venezuela on 8-9 July 2012. He held bilateral talks with the Venezuelan Trade Minister, Health Minister, Vice Foreign Minister and Vice President of PDVSA.

Mr. Rafael Ramirez, former Minister of Petroleum and Mining and President of PDVSA visited India and held wide-ranging talks with former Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mr. VeerappaMoily on 24 September 2013.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan met former Oil and Mining Minister, Mr. Asdrubal Chavez on 4 June 2015 in Vienna.

Former PDVSA President, Mr. Eulogio Del Pino visited India on 15-16 June 2015. He met Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (Dr.) V.K. Singh.

Manuel Quevedo, Oil Minister of Venezuela visited India at an energy event (PETROTECH) on 11 February 2019. He also met Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.

The main items of India’s exports are pharmaceutical products, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, man-made staple fibers, organic chemicals and cotton. The main items of India’s imports from Venezuela are mineral fuels and crude oil, aluminium and articles thereof and lead with articles thereof.

A bilateral Agreement on cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector was signed during former President Chavez’s visit in March 2005, along with a MoU offering ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) opportunities for oil and gas exploration in Venezuela, including a heavy oil field in the Orinoco belt, following which OVL opened its office in Venezuela. In April 2008, an agreement was signed for the creation of a Joint Venture called “PetroleraIndoVenezolana SA” for production and exploration of oil in the San Cristobal field in which OVL has a 40% stake while PDVSA has the remaining 60% share. In another significant development in February 2010, an international consortium comprising ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Oil India Ltd. (OIL), Repsol of Spain and Petronas of Malaysia were declared the winners of an international bidding process to develop a multi-billion dollar integrated onshore Carabobo oil project in the Orinoco belt of Venezuela. The three Indian companies together hold 18% of the stake. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), in March 2010, approved an initial investment of US$2.181 billion in the project.  Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has a 15-year crude supply contract with PDVSA. The other major importer of oil from Venezuela is Essar. Venezuelan Government as well as the private sector owes an amount of around US$ 533 million and 12 million euros to the Indian companies. The figures include dividend payment of ONGC pending with Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

Culture

There is a great deal of interest and appreciation for Indian art and culture in Venezuela. There are several centres in Venezuela established by Indian spiritual Gurus/groups like Sai Baba, Brahma Kumaris, Radha Swami etc. There are also Krishna/ISKON temples and several yoga centres all over the country.  There are a large number of Sai Baba devotees in Venezuela, many of whom visit India on a regular basis. Following the passing away of Sai Baba, the National Assembly of Venezuela passed a unanimous Resolution to honour him. Several Indian nuns from the Missionaries of Charity are based in Venezuela. Ayurveda is becoming popular and has been recognized as an alternative system of medical treatment in a health regulation issued by the Government of Venezuela in February 2001. The first AYUSH Information Cell of Venezuela and the second in Latin America was inaugurated in Maracay in July 2017.  The first International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated on 21 June 2015 in Caracas and Merida. The second and third IDYs were celebrated in many cities of Venezuela such as Caracas, Maracaibo, Merida, Cumana and Maracay. A 3-day Holi festival, was organized in March 2016, which saw a massive turnout of over 25000 people. A Catedra Libre (India Chair) was set up in the University of Los Andes (ULA) in Merida in 2006 and in the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) in Caracas in 2010. Dr. B.R Ambedkar Study Centre was opened in Santa Maria University, Caracas on 14 April 2016. A workshop and IT Centre was set up in Araira, Miranda State on 16 March 2017. Nearly 1000 students from the local community benefit from the project. A Vallabbhai Patel India-Venezuela Association (VIVA) Centre was set up in El Hatillo, Caracas on 31 October 2016 to mark National Unity Day.  Mahatma Gandhi Center was inaugurated in Caricuao on 2 October 2017. Mahatma Gandhi Foundation Venezuela, which was set up in June 2016, offers regular diploma courses on non-violence in two universities. Venezuelan experts are sent to India every year under ITEC programme. ICCR has approved 4 scholarships for Venezuela starting from academic year 2017. Several GoI sponsored cultural groups  visited Venezuela in 2017, which include groups on Indian music, Bhangra, Manipuri, Odissi and Bharatanatyam dance forms. India was a participating country at the 13th International Book Fair (FILVEN 2017) in Caracas in November 2017. Two books on India in Spanish were released by the Venezuelan Minister of Culture at the event. Earlier, the first Spanish version of Arthasashtra authored by a Venezuelan Professor was released. Two books on North Eastern States were released in Spanish in March, 2018. The major event of the 4th IDY was held on June 23 at PDVSA Parque La Estancia in the heart of Caracas and was co-sponsored by ONGC Videsh Ltd. Mr. Felix Plasencia, Vice Minister for Asia, Middle East and Oceania in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela was the Chief Guest. The event was celebrated by around 1500 enthusiasts from all walks of life and was covered by the local media channels. To mark the commencement of the celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th Birth Anniversary, Embassy organized an LED Projection on the 'Relevance of Bapu's message in the contemporary world.' Mr. Ruben Dario Molina, Vice Minister for Asia, Middle East and Oceania, Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended the event alongwith Venezuelan Vice Minister for Cultural Economy, Ministry of Culture, Vice Minister for Research and Knowledge Application, Ministry of  Science, Technology and University Education and Vice Minister for Special Economic Zones, Ministry of Industry. The Commemorative Postage stamps on 150th Birth Anniversary of the Mahatma were released.

Gandhi Hall was inaugurated at Maracay Venezuela on 30 October 2018 jointly by the Embassy and Gran Fraternidad Universal, Venezuela. Yoga classes are being conducted by the Teacher of Indian culture for 6 Venezuelan Ministers, Central Bank of Venezuela and other public/private establishments.

Education :TheGovernmentof India allotted 28 ITEC seatsto Venezuela for 2018-19.

 

Bilateral trade data trend along with analysis of the swings (last 5 years)
(All figures in US$ million)

Period Imports from
Venezuela
Growth % Exports to Venezuela Growth % Total trade Growth % Remarks

2018-19
(Apr – Jan)

6,243.42

6.42%

72.16

-8.90%

6,315.58

6.22%

-

2017-18

5,866.37

6.42%

79.21

27.30%

5,945.58

6.66%

Pharmaimportsincreased

comparedtothepreviousyear

as theVenezuelanimportersstarted

makingadvancepaymentsforpurchases.

Still, itwasmuchlessthanimports in 2015-16.

2016-17

5,512.06

-3.32%

62.22

-52.38%

5,574.28

-4.42%

Venezuela reduced

itsimportsfrommostoft

hecountriesduetotheforeigncurr

encycrunchamidstVen

ezuelaneconomic crisis. In ad

dition, manyIndiancompanieshaltedoperation i

n Venezuela duetotheiroutsta

ndingpaymentswithVenezue

lanentities, resulting in there

ductionofexportsbyIndiancompanies.

2015-16

5,701.81

-51.39%

130.66

-49.37%

5,832.47

-51.34%

A dropof 51.39% ontheimportsfrom

Venezuela wasduetothefallofpetroleu

mpricesthatreducedthetrade in

termsofvalue, howevernot in

termsofvolume.

Indianimportsofcruderemainedstable. Venezuelanexportsto India

startedto be affected as

the local production

washeavilyreduced. 

2014-15

11,729.89

-15.85%

258.07

31.02%

11,987.96

-15.20%

Indianimportsfrom Venezuela in

thisperioddroppedby 15.85% in termsofvalue,

duetothefallofoilprices in June 2014.
Duringtheperiod 2014-15, Indianexportsofpharmace

uticalsincreasedto US$ 143.55 millionresulting in a

77.11% growth in Indianexportof

thiscommodityto Venezuela.

UsefulResources:

Embassy of India, Caracas Website:
http://www.eoicaracas.gov.in/
Embassy of India, Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/IndianEmbassy.

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September 2019