7 junio, 2024

10 economic activities in Venezuela

Some economic activities of Venezuela The most important are based on an extractive system, such as oil and mining, and the sale of these raw materials. To a lesser extent, agriculture, livestock and fishing.

Economic activities are all actions carried out in a society, region or country with the aim of producing goods or offering services necessary for their livelihood and generating wealth.

Each country, according to its geographical situation, climate and social characteristics, develops different economic activities.

Although most of the nations of the world are inserted in a capitalist economic model, their economic activities vary not only from one country to another, but also between the different regions of the same country, and also change according to the historical moment that touches them. cross.

Wars, regional economic crises, natural disasters, good or bad governments and technological advances are some of the factors that affect the rise or decline of certain economic activities in a given country.

Main economic activities of Venezuela

Primary activities

1. Oil

It is the main activity in Venezuela: the exploitation and refining of oil for export, in charge of the state company Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA).

This story began in 1875, when the presence of fossil fuel was discovered on the La Alquitrana farm, in the Táchira state, which borders Colombia, after which the Táchira Oil Company was founded.

By 1914, already with a refinery from which kerosene and diesel were obtained, the Zumaque well burst and commercial oil exploitation reached large scales. In fact, in 1920, Venezuela was considered the second largest oil-producing country.

Venezuela has an economy based almost exclusively on the exploitation and refining of oil both for internal consumption and for export, which represents 90% of the country’s total exports.

Its exploitation began at the end of the 19th century. The wars and the increasing demand for oil worldwide gave great economic income to the country and led to the neglect of other activities.

With the fall in oil prices starting in the 2010s, the economic problems of the South American country began, as they were almost exclusively dependent on fluctuations in this area. Inflation skyrocketed, the country fell into debt and entered a spiral from which it has not been able to get out.

In recent years, the lack of maintenance and investment in the country’s refineries and the misguided economic policies have generated a deep crisis, which has forced, for the first time in its history, to import gasoline.

2. Mining

Venezuela has important deposits of iron, aluminum and coal, as well as cement and plaster. It also exploits gold and salt pans for the production of salt for human consumption.

iron industry

Venezuela is among the nations with the largest iron reserves in the world and the company in charge of its extraction and processing is the Siderúrgica del Orinoco Alfredo Maneiro (SIDOR).

The first iron deposits were discovered in the Pao and Bolívar hills, in Bolívar state, in 1926 and 1947, respectively.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG) was created to oversee the production and processing of the mineral.

In 1975, the plant reached 4.8 million tons of installed capacity and in 2002, it reached a record of 2.3 million tons in exports.

Later, the company was privatized and after a history of success and growth, labor conflicts arose that led to its nationalization in 2008, after which production was reactivated at less than half of its installed capacity.

Since then, production has progressively decreased, affecting the national economy and that of that state in southern Venezuela.

aluminum industry

Bauxite reserves, a fundamental element for extracting aluminum, are also large in Venezuela.

Aluminio del Caroní (Alcasa), is the state industry that is in charge of supervising all the processes related to this metal, under the tutelage of the National Aluminum Corporation (Corpoalum).

This industry, with an installed capacity to produce 430 tons per year, is responsible for producing extrusion cylinders, soft sheets, paper, and aluminum ingots for domestic consumption and export.

It is an industry with low production costs because it works with hydroelectric power and with prices that have suffered a consistent drop since 1991, but which represents the second Venezuelan export product.

3. Agriculture

Most of the agricultural production is for internal consumption. The main products grown are corn, rice, coffee, tobacco, sugar cane and cocoa, which is of excellent quality, and is even exported for the manufacture of Swiss chocolates.

4. Livestock and fishing

Mainly, cattle and pigs are raised, as well as poultry such as chickens and their derivatives.

By having a vast coastal zone, Venezuela also has an important participation in the extraction of various products from the sea.

secondary activities

5. Cement

Venezuela has an important cement industry, currently paralyzed almost entirely due, mainly, to price regulation policies by the State.

6. Food and drinks

The main private industry is dedicated to the production of food from the basic food basket, as well as alcoholic beverages, the most relevant being beer and rum.

Coffee growing

Venezuela is a country with the ideal climatic conditions and soil for growing coffee.

Traditionally, it was the export crop par excellence, however, this situation has changed in recent years for various reasons, which has led to the fact that today the internal demand for this product is not being met.

The main states of the country where coffee is grown are Portuguesa, Lara, Táchira, Mérida, Trujillo, Monagas, Sucre, Yaracuy and Guárico.

cocoa cultivation

Cocoa was the main item of production and export of the Venezuelan economy between the last years of the 16th century and the first years of the 19th century.

In 1631, more than 2,000 bushels of cocoa (100,000 kilograms of dry seeds) were exported, and the internal demand (calculated in the same quantity) was met.

Over the years, external demand increased and cocoa prices improved, so Venezuela increased its production and exports.

With the increase in coffee exports and the decrease in labor that came with the abolition of slavery, the value of cocoa exports was between 6-9% of the total value of Venezuelan exports.

The Great Depression of the 1930s and the rise of the oil industry diminished the attention given to this crop, despite still being recognized today as one of the best cocoas in the world.

Corn crop

The precipitation and radiation that Venezuela receives during the year are two decisive factors in making it a fertile territory for growing corn, especially in its western plains.

7. Metallurgical, steel and petrochemical industries

These industries allowed the socioeconomic development of the country. They had their peak from the 70s of the last century.

8. Hydroelectric industry

Venezuela has important hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants, although in recent years there has been a lack of state investment for the maintenance and renewal of the electricity supply.

Secondary activities represent 35% of GDP.

tertiary activities

9. Central government products and services

In an increasingly centralized State, the administration in the public sector is growing, absorbing functions that do not correspond to it and that go through the production and distribution of food, basic public services and transportation.

10. Tourism

The tourism sector is an important source of economic resources, since it has all types of weather and exhibits unique landscapes.

Tertiary activities represent 61% of GDP.

Primary, secondary and tertiary economic activities

Primary economic activity is understood to be any activity that uses natural resources. The main and most common are agriculture and livestock, fishing, mining and forestry. Wind, hydroelectric or solar power generation may also be included.

Secondary activities include all those that derive from or are a consequence of the previous primary activity. It is the transformation of raw materials into manufactured products.

Tertiary activities are the services provided to carry out primary and secondary activities. They are numerous, but we can mention transportation, sales, administration, accounting work, advertising, insurance companies, banks, telephone and internet services, etc.

In this sense, we have already indicated that the oil industry is the main economic support of the country.


Venezuelan economy. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org
Venezuela Economic Activity Map. Recovered from gifex.com
Risks and consequences of rentier economies. The Venezuelan case. Retrieved from scielo.org.mx.

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