Friday, November 23, 2007

Tracking FDI, a maddening affair 

There is nothing more frustrating than figuring out Foreign direct investment in Venezuela, there are no reliable standards (even within articles themselves) that you can point to. And even if you did find one there are no ways to separate net FDI from simply foreign investment (nationalizations obscure the number).

That said I came across a neat little graph from the Central Bank

Despite the negative spin from the media this would be awesome really, after you account for the one time nationalizations in Q1 and Q2 FDI you would see that Q3 investment rose slightly when compared with Q3 2006, now admitedly this is only one Quarter but if it holds it does look good.

Then we see an article from El Universal that paints a bleaker picture.

As you can see they use the Central Bank figures for the first 9 months of 07, but they do not use the figure for 06 from the bank itself. They use the figures from CEPAL regarding FDI.

Yes it is misleading on the part of El Universal, but what can you do about it, more troubling is the different numbers we get from the Central Bank and CEPAL for 2006. Both use net investment, CEPAL acknowledges that in 06 the slashing of the operating agreements fudged the numbers, but still for one to report 4.4 billion in FDI while the other reports negative numbers is maddening.

Evidently the opposition will no doubt claim AHA! regarding possibly shoddy numbers (like they always claim to do but always fail to show) but this is the Central Bank, an entity only the delusional would claim is under the wing of the govt and whose autonomy is still pretty much under the 99 constitution. So what gives? I really don't have a clue, but I guess I should start digging into the Central Bank website for more numbers, before the eventual change of the website to red strains my eyes ;)

PS this is entirely an academic excercise, Venezuela gets more from oil than China gets from net FDI so there is really nothing to worry about.

PPS There are now 141 drills in the country


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