In line with the objectives announced by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in early January, Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV, for its acronym in Spanish) head Calixto Ortega reaffirmed on January 11 that two of the institution’s main tasks for 2021 will be enhancing electronic transactions and strengthening the digital economy. In other news, the country now moves into the stage of flexibilization of economic activities in Venezuela until January 17.
BCV president statements
In a meeting with public and private banking representatives, BCV president Calixto Ortega reinforced the objectives set by Maduro in relation to the digitalization of Venezuela’s economy. Although he did not mention any particular mechanism, one of the measures to be implemented could be the creation of the digital version of the national currency, the Bolivar, given that Maduro has stated in recent weeks that “the Bolivar as a physical currency is going to disappear.” This would also be in line with the government’s policy of “defending” the national currency.
Ortega added that they are planning to encourage the use of electronic transactions. The BCV will be working with the Banking Sector Institutions Superintendency (Sudeban in Spanish) to encourage innovation in the means of payment sector. Finally, participants analyzed the application of the Anti-Blockade Law, approved by the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) in late 2020. The Executive branch is expected to announce further developments in the coming weeks regarding progress with efforts to digitalize the economy and encourage the use of electronic transactions.
Flexibilization of economic activities
Until next Sunday, January 17, the country is to be in the flexibilization stage for economic activities, as indicated by the 7+7 scheme. The banking sector will be able to serve the public from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 1 pm. According to Maduro, this scheme is likely to be put in place throughout 2021 since “the pandemic will not be controlled this year.”