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Embassy of India

Caracas

India-Venezuela Relations

India and Venezuela have always enjoyed cordial relations. There is a similarity of views on major international, political and economic issues. Besides actively promoting bilateral relations, the two countries cooperate in multilateral forums. The 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations was celebrated in 2009. Resident Embassies have been in Caracas and New Delhi for over four decades. Venezuela has emerged as India’s fourth largest oil supplier.

Political

A major thrust to the bilateral relationship was imparted by former President Hugo Chávez' State Visit to India on 4-7 March 2005. He held bilateral talks with former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Six Agreements/MoUs were signed, including on setting up of a Joint Commission and cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.

Former Foreign Minister of Venezuela, Mr. Nicolás Maduro (now President) visited India to attend the First Meeting of the India-CELAC Troika Foreign Ministers held in New Delhi on 7 August 2012. India was led by former External Affairs Minister, Shri S.M. Krishna.

Shri V.S. Sampath, former Chief Election Commissioner of India visited Caracas from 27 August to 1 September 2012 to attend an International Seminar on “Innovation and Technological Vanguard: Automated Voting Systems”. The Election Commission of India (ECI) and the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela signed a MoU during the visit. The President of CNE visited India in January 2010 to attend the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of ECI and again in 2011.

The President and the Prime Minister of India condoled the passing away of President Hugo Chávez on 5 March 2013. Shri Sachin Pilot, former Minister of State for Corporate Affairs represented India at the State funeral of President Chávez. Shri Pilot paid his condolences to President Chávez’ mother, Mrs. Elena Frías de Chávez, and to Acting President, Mr. Nicolás Maduro.

External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj met former Executive Vice President Mr. Jorge Arreaza on 22 April 2015 on the sidelines of Asia Africa Summit 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (Dr.) V. K. Singh visited Caracas on 24-25 May 2015. He held meetings with former Vice President, Mr. Jorge Arreaza, Foreign Minister Dr. Delcy Rodríguez, former Oil and Mining Minister, Mr. Asdrúbal Chávez, and President of Venezuela’s national oil company, PDVSA Mr. Eulogio Del Pino.

External Affairs Minister, Smt. Sushma Swaraj had a pull aside with Foreign Minister Dr. Delcy Rodríguez in New York on 30 September 2015 on the sidelines of UNGA session.

Foreign Minister Dr. Delcy Rodríguez led a 14-member delegation including Venezuelan Oil Minister Mr. Eulogio del Pino and Vice Minister Mr. Felix Plasencia to visit India on 17-18 August 2016. The delegation had meetings with External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge) Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. A whole range of bilateral and multilateral issues were discussed in the meetings. The two sides agreed to move ahead for an early finalization of a number of agreements in different areas and early holding of next Joint Commission meeting.

The 17th NAM Summit was held in Margarita Island in Venezuela during 17-18 September 2016. Vice President of India Shri Hamid Ansari represented India at the Summit whereas Minister of State for External Affairs Shri M. J. Akbar led the Ministerial meeting. Vice President had bilateral meeting with President Maduro and reviewed the status of bilateral relationship.

Commercial

A MoU on the establishment of an Indo-Venezuelan Joint Commission was signed during President Chávez’ visit to India in 2005. Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, former Minister of State (External Affairs) led the Indian delegation for the first session of the Joint Commission in August 2005 in Caracas. The 2nd JCM, led by Shri Salman Khurshid, former EAM and Mr. Elias Jaua, former Foreign Minister of Venezuela was held in Delhi on 20 December 2013. 9 Vice Ministers of Venezuela dealing with Petrochemicals, External Trade, Agriculture, Food, Health, Air and Water Transport, Telecommunications, IT & Postal Services, Culture and Education accompanied Mr. Jaua.

Shri Murli Deora, former Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas visited Venezuela in May 2010 to witness the signing ceremony of the Carabobo oil project. During Shri Deora’s call on former President Chávez, the latter agreed to supply more crude oil to India.

Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, former Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, along with a 20-member CII business delegation paid an official visit to Venezuela on 8-9 July 2012. He held bilateral talks with the Venezuelan Trade Minister, Health Minister, Vice Foreign Minister and Vice President of PDVSA.

Mr. Rafael Ramirez, former Minister of Petroleum and Mining and President of PDVSA visited India and held wide-ranging talks with former Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mr. Veerappa Moily on 24 September 2013.

PDVSA President, Mr. Eulogio Del Pino visited India on 15-16 June 2015. He met Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (Dr.) V.K. Singh.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan met former Oil and Mining Minister, Mr. Asdrúbal Chávez on 4 June 2015 in Vienna.

The main items of India’s exports to Venezuela are pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals, cotton, articles of apparel and clothing, articles of iron or steel, machinery and mechanical appliances. The Indian pharma industry has already made a mark and some reputed companies (Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s, Glenmark, Claris, Cipla) are operating in Venezuela.

The main items of India’s imports from Venezuela are crude oil, iron pellets and electrical cables.

The bilateral trade figures for the past five years are as below:

(in million US$)


2013 2014 2014-15
2015-16
2016-17 (Apr. Dec)

India’s Exports to Venezuela (CIF US$)

352.720 245.60 258.07 130.66 48.22

Venezuela’s Exports to India (non-oil) (FOB US$)

2.907 33.60 60.75 23.18 N.A.


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 (Apr. Dec)

India’s oil Imports from Venezuela

14105.91 13936.59 11669.14 5701.81 3809.49


Source: Venezuelan National Institute of Statistics & Export-Import Data Bank, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.

A bilateral Agreement on cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector was signed during former President Chávez’ visit in March 2005, along with an MoU offering ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) opportunities for oil and gas exploration in Venezuela, including a heavy oil field in the Orinoco belt, following which OVL opened its office in Venezuela. In April 2008, an agreement was signed for the creation of a Joint Venture called “Petrolera Indo-Venezolana SA” for production and exploration of oil in the San Cristobal field in which OVL has a 40% stake while PDVSA has the remaining 60% share. OVL’s investment in the San Cristobal Project is US$355.7 million.

In another significant development in February 2010, an international consortium comprising ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Oil India Ltd. (OIL), Repsol of Spain and Petronas of Malaysia were declared the winners of an international bidding process to develop a multi-billion dollar integrated onshore Carabobo oil project in the Orinoco belt of Venezuela. The three Indian companies together hold 18% of the stake. The ‘First Oil’ from PetroCarabobo S.A. Project was produced on 27 December 2012.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has a 15-year crude supply contract with PDVSA. The other major importer of oil from Venezuela is Essar. Total annual imports reached to the peak level of US$ 14 billion in 2013-14.

Culture

There is a great deal of interest and appreciation for Indian art and culture in Venezuela. There are several centers in Venezuela established by Indian spiritual Gurus/groups like Sai Baba, Brahma Kumaris, Radha Swami etc. There are also Krishna/ISKCON temples and several yoga centers all over the country. There are large numbers of Sai Baba devotees in Venezuela, many of whom visit India on a regular basis. Following the passing away of Sai Baba, the National Assembly of Venezuela passed a unanimous Resolution to honour him. Several Indian nuns from the Missionaries of Charity are based in Venezuela. An IT workshop with 10 workstations has been constructed at the Father Bernard Karikamury Socio-Education complex in Araira, Miranda with aid from the Government of India.

Ayurveda is becoming popular and has been recognized as an alternative system of medical treatment in a health regulation issued by the Government of Venezuela in February 2001. The first Ayush Information Cell in Venezuela and the second in Latin America was ignagurated by Ambassador Rahul Shrivastava on 07 July 2017 in Maracay. The Ayush Information Cell is equipped with the print and digital information related to Ayush medicine which provide a plattform for the people of Venezuela to learn about Ayush and the benefits from the ancient systems of medicine and wellbeing originated in India. 


The first International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated on 21 June 2015 in Caracas and Merida. The second edition of IDY was celebrated on 19 June 2016 in many cities of Venezuela such as Caracas, Maracaibo, Merida, Cumana, Maracay. The third (IDY) was celebrated 
on 17 june 2017 in more than 13 cities in Venezuela. A 3-day Holi festival, was organized during 18-21 March 2016, which saw a massive turnout of over 25000 people. ICCR sponsored Santoor group performed in Margarita in March 2016, Bhangra dance group in Caracas in December 2016, Violin group in Barinas in January 2017 and The Ranganiketan Manipuri Cultural Arts Troupe" performed on 7 april 2017 at Teresa Careno Theater in Caracas

The Embassy was instrumental in starting a Cátedra Libre (India Chair/Study Centers) in the University of Los Andes (ULA) in Merida in 2006 and in the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) in Caracas in 2010. Dr. B.R Ambedkar Study Centre was opened in Santa Maria University, Caracas on 14 April 2016. A foundation ‘Mahatma Gandhi Venezuela’ (MGV) to propagate teachings of Gandhi was launched on 23 June 2016. The ‘Vallabhbhai India Venezuela Association (VIVA)’ was launched to propagate the life and ideas of Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary on 31 October 2016. The classes to learn Hindi have also commenced in Santa Maria University since October 2016.
Venezuelan experts are sent to India every year under ITEC programme. ICCR approved 4 scholarships for Venezuela starting from academic year 2017.

Indian Community

There are about 30 Indian families in Venezuela, of which about 20 are in Caracas. The Indian Association of Venezuela, which was revived in 2003, organizes Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, etc in which members of Indian community and friends of India participate.

Useful Resources

Embassy of India, Caracas website: http://www.eoicaracas.in/ 

Embassy of India, Caracas Facebook: www.facebook.com/IndiaInVenezuela

Embassy of India, Caracas Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndiaVenezuela

Embassy of India, Caracas Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/136124907@N03/

Embassy of Venezuela, New Delhi: www.embaveneindia.com

August  2017



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