Venezuela, China sign $2 bn agreement for housing

Sep 22, 2014 12:00 AM

Venezuela and a Chinese business delegation have signed an agreement worth around $2 billion to import materials and vehicles for boosting housing construction in the Caribbean country.

“We are making an investment of around $2 billion in the China-Venezuela fund,” President Nicolas Maduro said during the signing of the agreement Sunday in the Venezuelan capital that was broadcast by state-run television.

Maduro said the accord would enable the government to import construction materials for its plans to build three million homes by 2019 to alleviate the existing housing shortage.

The agreement “begins a new phase of a construction alliance with China,” Maduro said, adding that the agreement includes the building of heavy machinery plants and the purchase of vehicles and forklifts.

China’s ambassador to Venezuela, Zhao Rongxian, praised the agreement, which he said would allow his country “to participate in the social construction” of Venezuela.

Since 2008, China has channeled more than $50 billion to Venezuela through two funds that have helped in carrying out more than 200 development plans, including a project in the Orinoco Petroleum Belt.

In return, Venezuela ships 524,000 barrels of crude oil and derivatives to China per day, an amount that is expected to increase to one million bpd by 2016.

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