Venezuela flag Venezuela: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Venezuela

Foreign Trade in Figures

According to the latest available data, Venezuela’s foreign trade represented 67.2% of the GDP in 2017. The country’s economy strongly depends on hydrocarbons, as well as on loans from China and Russia. Traditionally, petroleum represents more than 75% of Venezuela’s exports. Manufactured products accounted for 16% of goods’ exports in 2021, and agricultural products for only 1.6% (data WTO). As per imports, the structure is as follows: agricultural products (34.7%), fuels and mining products (4.6%), manufactures (59.2%), and other (1.6% - data WTO, 2022).

According to the latest figures from OEC, Venezuela’s main export partners in 2022 were China (16.3%), Turkey (13.9%), Spain (12%), the U.S. (10.2%), and Brazil (8.3%). As per imports, China was the main source (31.4%), followed by the U.S. (23%), Brazil (13.8%), and Colombia (6.6%). Venezuela is a member of the Latin American Integration Association as well as the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries, and is looking to improve and increase its trade relations with the South-American zone, the EU, and China. However, even though Venezuela entered Mercosur in 2012 to develop trade with its neighbors, its membership was indefinitely suspended in 2017 because the country was infringing on the democratic clauses of the treaty.

According to the WTO, the country imported USD 10.1 billion of goods in 2022 and exported USD 4.7 billion of goods over the same period, marking increases of 30.7% and 33.2% year-on-year, respectively. Venezuela's foreign trade policy has been heavily impacted by international sanctions, particularly those imposed by the United States and other Western countries. These sanctions have targeted key sectors of Venezuela's economy, including oil exports, which historically formed the backbone of its foreign trade. As a result, Venezuela has faced significant challenges in accessing international markets and obtaining necessary imports, leading to shortages of essential goods and exacerbating economic instability. Additionally, the sanctions have constrained Venezuela's ability to engage in normal trade relations, forcing the country to seek alternative partners, often with limited success. The restrictions have also hindered foreign investment, further complicating efforts to diversify the economy and stimulate growth. Despite attempts by the Venezuelan government to navigate these challenges through various strategies, including increasing cooperation with countries like Russia and China, the impact of the sanctions continues to pose formidable obstacles to the country's economic recovery and stability.

Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 5,8706,5907,74510,14011,180
Exports of Goods (million USD) 17,2105,0103,5354,7508,470
Imports of Services (million USD) 00000
Exports of Services (million USD) 00000

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 50.454.348.1n/an/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 31,95631,59827,4493,95611,061
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 14,68814,52912,551-8,2352,874
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 24.4-9.7-18.5n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.6-6.2-4.7n/an/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 24.229.531.4n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 26.224.816.7n/an/a

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change)
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change)

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

International Economic Cooperation
Venezuela is part of the WTO, the World Bank, the CEPALC: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the ALADI: Latin American Integration Association, the MCCA (CACM): Central American Common Market. It has signed the Promotion and Protection of Investment Agreement of 1993, and is a partner of MERCOSUR. The country withdrew from the Andean Community, which brings together several countries of the Southern Cone, in 2006.

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows.

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Latest Update: May 2024