The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development revealed today that in 2014, only foreign investment in Venezuela totalled only $320 million. The figure represents a drop of 88% from 2013, when $2.6 billion flowed into the country.
Eduardo Porcarelli, the executive director of the Consejo Nacional de Promocion de Inversiones [National Council for Investment Promotion], pointed to a drastic drop in oil prices as one of the reasons for the drop:
In general terms, there was a drop [in foreign investment] because the strategy for securing investment in the majority of the countries in the region is based on the extraction of commodities. When the prices for these fall, the expectations for investment are reduced.
Porcarelli also said that aside from the issue of oil prices, the business climate is just not conducive to investment, both foreign and domestic:
There’s a number of issues that create difficulties, specially the access to foreign currency not only to import raw materials which we need for production, but also because the foreign currency that stays [in the country], once taxes have been paid, can be sent to the casa matriz [possibly “headquarters”, although I’m not entirely sure in what context Porcarelli is using the word].
Porcarelli also pointed to the Ley de Inversiones Extranjeras [Foreign Investment Law], approved in 2014, as a problem. He argues that the law is ambiguous and often fails to set out clear guidelines for compliance, something which could be cause for hesitation to foreign investors.
Video Captured Disturbance at URBE
A video surfaced on Twitter today apparently showing a disturbance at the Universidad Rafael Belloso Chacin in Maracaibo. It was accompanied by numerous reports of what appeared to be a confrontation between university students and an unknown group of assailants that was allegedly attacking the campus.
The video can be seen below. It apparently shows an unseen group of assailants attempting to gain entry into a university building by breaking down a security door:
Below, two pictures showing the aftermath of the violence:
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