Chavez: Venezuela Will Have Some of the Largest Industrial Hubs in the Americas

As President Chávez inaugurated a new state owned window factory yesterday and announced the creation of other new factories, he outlined the government’s plan to create five industrial hubs in different regions of Venezuela.

Venezuela’s industrial hubs for the Mercosur region

Yesterday, during the inauguration of the window factory, President Hugo Chávez described how Venezuela will develop its industrial hubs over the next few years, saying they will be among the “largest” on the American continent.

The industrial hubs will be located in states of Venezuela according to the possibilities in each of those states. Chávez, pointing to a map, said the north-central region covering Lara, Yaracuy, Carabobo, Aragua, Miranda, and parts of Vargas and the Capital District would be an industrial and science and technology hub, while another hub would be based around the Orinoco Oil Belt and the corresponding states of Guarico, Monagas, Anzoategui, and part of Delta Amacuro.

Another hub will be mining based, south of the Orinoco River, with an agricultural hub in Apure and most of the plains and the Andean region, and finally, there will be a petro-chemical hub in the western states of Falcon and Zulia. The strategy and details of these plans are outlined in the government’s 2013-2019 plan.

“What a lot of potential there is still,” said Chavez. “Our aim of creating productive hubs isn’t a delusion. Venezuela has everything necessary to achieve it, all that is needed is political will, a government to lead it, and an awakening of the people.”

Chavez also expressed his desire to meet with private industry and develop “strategic alliances to be able to continue increasing national production and convert Venezuela into a large power, within the large power that is the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and South America”. Venezuela became a full member of Mercosur on 31 July.

New state-owned window factory to produce 860,000 windows per year for housing program

The newly inaugurated Guacara III window factory is part of the state owned Petrocasa company, which makes easy to assemble and very affordable houses out of the PVC plastic derived from Venezuela’s oil production. Those with land can purchase a three bedroom house for around 10% of the current average prices of houses in Venezuela, and it takes a community around eight days to assemble the house.

Asdrubal Chavez, vice-president of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), said the new factory would produce 860,000 windows per year for the government’s housing mission. The new factory is located in Guacara, Carabobo state.

The PDVSA vice-president said the window factory is currently working just one shift, but will start hiring more workers, to then be able to operate on three shifts per day, “responding to the large demand the company already has”.

President Chavez also informed that cooking oil and margarine company Industrias Diana, nationalised in 2008, would broaden its product range to include soft cheeses and baby food. A factory for soya plant extraction will be inaugurated in Portuguesa state, together with a factory of personal hygiene products in Carabobo state. Such factories will help Venezuela turn around its high import levels.

Prior to its nationalisation in 2008, Industrias Diana was producing 27,500 tonnes of soap and food products, and 1,800 of its 2,271 employees were contract workers. Now all of its workers are full-time workers, and its production has increased to 89,976 tonnes of soap and food, according to food minister Carlos Osorio.

“What we’ve done up until now is not much compared to what we will do. We have to fill Venezuela with factories like this one, because we have enough primary material; gas, salt,” President Chavez said. 

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