Venezuela and China ratified 22 new agreements totaling US $2.7 billion Monday in a bid to strengthen cooperation between the two nations.
Concluded during the 15th meeting of the China-Venezuelan High-Level Mixed Commission in Caracas, the deals will guarantee funding for dozens of new joint projects aimed at promoting economic development in both countries.
Among the more high profile initiatives is the construction of the Jienyang refinery in China, which will have the capacity to process 400,000 barrels of oil per day, of which 70 percent will come from Venezuela. Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will retain a 40 percent stake in the project, while its Chinese counterpart CNPC will have 60 percent participation.
The accords also reportedly include provisions for direct investment in Venezuela in the areas of heavy machinery production, infrastructure projects, cargo transport, as well as imports of vehicles, computers, among other vital consumer goods.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro applauded the agreements as a further consolidation of the two countries’ geopolitical alliance.
“China and Venezuela see each other as sister nations with a common destiny of peace, of cooperation, and mutual development,” he declared.
Over the last decade, China has become a critical partner of the Bolivarian government, investing billions in joint projects throughout the South American country.
In November, the two nations signed a US $2.2 billion deal to increase oil output by 227,000 barrels per day.