Venezuela to form joint venture with Samsung

A Samsung flag flies outside the company's headquarters on Dec. 11, 2012 in Seoul.
Chung Sung-Jun

Venezuela and South Korean company Samsung Electronics have signed an agreement to form a joint venture that will make consumer electronics and home appliances in Venezuela.

The government will have a 51 percent stake in the factory, while Samsung, which is initially investing $50 million in the plant, will have a 49 percent stake.

Industry Minister Ricardo Menendez told reporters Wednesday that smaller items such as tablets and cellphones will go into production in Venezuela next year.

It’s the latest move from a government that has shown it is determined to squeeze private businesses that import foreign goods – by both competing against and cracking down on them.

Earlier in November, Venezuela signed a similar deal with Mexican appliance maker Mabe to produce and sell stoves and refrigerators at "fair prices," less than what private stores are selling them for.

And on Nov. 8, the Venezuelan military took control of several retail chains that Nicolas Maduro’s government accused of gouging customers. The state has forced the stores to mark down their products significantly.

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