Venezuela authorizes new sectors to sell US dollars through forex system

Dec 17, 2013 12:00 AM

Venezuela continues to redesign its foreign exchange system. Authorities have widened the scope of the Ancillary Foreign Currency Administration System (Sicad), while the Foreign Currency Administration Commission is giving way to a new method for US dollar sales at the official forex rate of VEB 6.30.

On Monday, Economy Vice-President Rafael Ramírez explained oil companies –including state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) and its foreign partners– requiring exchanging US dollars into bolivars for the purpose of boosting oil production may sell US dollars through Sicad, as well as tourists and gold miners.

According to projections, oil companies, which have to pay in bolivars for pipes, labor, and construction as part of their investments, are likely to sell via Sicad some USD 6 billion in 2014. Ramírez commented that Sicad already has USD 1 billion from Pdvsa and its partners.

The official added that Sicad will continue operating in 2014 at the current pace of USD 100 million weekly. "As much as USD 5 billion will be sold by the public sector and we would like to expand it by including other sectors.

The official rate

The Venezuelan government is willing to continue selling US dollars at VEB 6.30 to priority sectors.

"Under our classification, US dollars at VEB 6.30 per dollar will be sold to firms in the areas of food, health, drugs, technology, education, capital goods and other similar areas. Anyway, we are going to set some standards that will be announced to the country," Ramírez remarked.

The economy vice-president stressed that next year authorities would no longer sell US dollars upon general approval but based on a strict budget and based on a new importers registry, which will help remove dummy corporations from the system.

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