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Remarks by Ambassador Shri Abhishek Singh at the inaugural session of the Business event to promote Trade and Tourism with Venezuela, on 27 October 2021, Caracas, Venezuela.

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Remarks by Ambassador Shri Abhishek Singh at the inaugural session of the Business event to promote Trade and Tourism with Venezuela, on 27 October 2021, Caracas, Venezuela.

H.E. Ms. Capaya Rodriguez, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela,

Distinguished and Vice Ministers, Excellencies

Members of business chambers and associations of Venezuela,

Ladies and Gentlemen. 


Let me at the outset convey my warm greetings to the distinguished participants in today’s important business event to promote trade and tourism with Venezuela.  I am indeed privileged to address the inaugural session of this important meeting which has brought together leaders and important business associations of Venezuela for an interaction on how to further promote trade and tourism with Venezuela. 

2.     Ever since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic last year, economies around the world have been disrupted.  Trade and tourism have suffered significantly.  With the ongoing vaccination process, we are now on the path of economic recovery and more importantly, recovery of Public health.

3.     India and Venezuela have always maintained cordial and friendly relations.  This year on 1 October, we celebrated 62 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Venezuela.  We have excellent relations in the field of trade and commerce.  Venezuela has got the great resource of crude oil and India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world.  The possibilities of cooperation with each other are immense.

4.     Excellencies, today’s event organized by our Embassy in Caracas will focus on the following four important areas of economy: (i) Oil and natural gas; (ii) Pharmaceuticals; (iii) Agricultural products; and (iv) Tourism.  All these areas are extremely crucial in promoting our overall bilateral trade. 

5.     As I mentioned earlier that Venezuela has got huge resource of crude oil and India has also been doing fairly well in production of mineral fuels.  This is an area of complimentarity.  In fact, the Embassy of India, Caracas conducted market surveys during the Covid pandemic in several areas of economy including one for the oil sector and the results of the market survey are encouraging.  This market survey has projected that India could even offer expertise in the field of rehabilitation of oil rigs and maintenance of oil refineries.

6.     Another important topic that would be discussed today pertains to pharmaceuticals.  India has been a significant supplier of pharmaceuticals products to Venezuela and Embassy had earlier organized a successful ‘B2B’ and ‘B2G’ meetings on pharmaceuticals sector.

7.     As you are aware that India produces the highest quality medicines and other pharmaceuticals products at the most affordable cost. Many refer to India as the ‘Pharmacy of the world’.  Even during the time of Covid-19 pandemic, India was at the forefront of supplying medicines to more than 100  countries.  I am happy to note that in August 2020 Government of India donated four tons of Covid related medicines to Venezuela.  I am sure that today’s deliberations in the pharmaceuticals sector will further enhance export of pharmaceuticals products from India to Venezuela. 

8.     Covid pandemic has affected the tourism sector but with the opening up of civil aviation, tourism is slowly but steadily picking up.  In fact, I am happy to share that from 15 October we have offered tourist visas which was stopped after the start of the pandemic, to those coming by charter flights or bubble arrangement flights and from the 15 November, it could be given to all coming by commercial airlines. 

9.     Excellencies, I have a good news to share. The first 500,000 tourist visas would be given gratis. Our Embassy in Caracas has been organizing events to promote trade and tourism with Venezuela and I would encourage Venezuelans to consider visiting India and experience the richness of Indian culture and cuisine.

10.   Agriculture and agricultural products are an important segment of our economy.  India is one of the largest food grain producers of the world and I am happy to note that important agricultural products like rice and cotton are being exported to Venezuela.  I would like to encourage APEDA to have constructive interaction with Venezuelan counterparts to further strengthen areas of cooperation in this sector.  Indian tea is becoming increasingly popular, and Embassy has organized several tea tasting events. While I encourage all of you to relish the different flavours of Indian tea, I am also mindful of the great coffee that Venezuela produces and would like to surely encourage exports of Venezuelan coffee to India. 

11.   Excellencies, Embassy in Caracas is working towards the promotion of trade and tourism in the resource rich country of Venezuela.  Today’s meeting, which has got full support from the Government and the business associations of Venezuela, will go a long way in enhancing exports from India to Venezuela and also our overall trade with Venezuela.  We are seeing clear signs of expansion of the trade basket with new products being added with the efforts of both our sides. 

12.   In conclusion, I would like to wish all the participants productive deliberations today and I look forward to interacting with all of you, Thank you.