In one year, international reserves rose from 13 billion to 23 billion $, a 76.92% increase. For the president of the Currency Administration Commission (Cadivi), Edgar Hernández Behrens, this is a result of the exchange control policy implemented at the beginning of 2003, after the impact that the oil strike inflicted on the economy.

Monetary liquidity (understood as the amount of cash circulating in the economy and in the hands of the population), also increased from 18 trillion to 33 trillion bolívares, an 83.3% increase.

Likewise, after more than a year of currency exchange control, there has been a recovery of the flow of operations and transactions in the Caracas Stock Exchange, which closed in 2003 with 9,000 points. At this moment it is above 25,000 points. Total profits in last year’s round enclosure were 620 million Bs.

Furthermore, the inflationary index has decelerated: it was 27.1% at the close of 2003, and between January and March 2004, the consumer price index reached 9%, a variation below the 13.8% index of the same period in 2003.

The president of Cadivi expects inflation to be below 22%, four percent lower than the goal predicted in the 2004 budget.

Another indicator that according to Hernández Behrens shows the effectiveness of the currency exchange control is the decrease in the country risk from 1,110 points last year to 600 this year.
“Therefore, we recommend that the currency exchange control be upheld to bless the Venezuelan people.” He said.

Hernández proposed a permanent system of investigation and administration in the granting of foreign currency in order to prevent political volatility, like the one caused last year amid the oil strike, from collapsing the country’s finances again, not to mention the international reserves, the country’s guarantee that enables it to acquire debts, refinance and honor them, as well as to sustain imports, that reach an annual amount of about 12 billion dollars.

Foreign investments incresed 87& in the first quarter

The amount of foreign investments was 87% higher in the first quarter of this year than it was the first quarter of 2003, and 41% higher than in the last quarter of that year. The quarterly report by the Venezuelan American Chamber (Venamcham) specifies that investments in the first three months of the year were basically on manufacturing(78%), real estate(20%), and transportation (1%).

This group of analysts reported that only Colombian investments have recovered throughout this period. Although capital from the U.S. showed a growing trend, it dropped 38% in comparison with the amount in the first quarter of 2003.

This year’s tax collectio will surpass its estimated objetive by 25.5%

The National Integrated Tax and Customs Administration Office (Seniat) expects to raise by 25.5% its tax collection goal for 2004. Superintendent José Gregorio Vielma Mora stated that, by the end of the year, he expects to have collected 4 trillion Bs. over the 15.7 trillion mark estimated early this year.

The revision of the previously estimated goal has not yet been made official by the Ministry of Finance, which keeps the original figure within this year’s budget. Tax collection has been on the rise as a result of increasing economic activity and tax collection pressure on companies to avoid payment evasion. Vielma Mora pointed out that he already surpassed the collection mark estimated for June: until last Tuesday, collection totaled three trillion Bs., 0.1 trillion over the monthly objective.“There you can see that the obtainment of resources is increasing while smuggling is going down, since smuggling and high tax collection for the nation can not coexist” he said.