Venezuela and China today signed a memorandum of understanding for the development and modernization of special economic zones, within the framework of the international tour carried out by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro through the Asian giant, with the aim of strengthening diplomatic relations.
“This document has to do with the field of cooperation, development and modernization of special economic zones,” said the Ministry of Communication and Information of Venezuela in a statement replicated by the Sputnik news agency.
According to the text, the treaty was signed between the National Superintendency of the Special Economic Zones of Venezuela and the Research Center for the Special Economic Zones of the Shenzhen University of China.
“In the case of Venezuela, with the Special Economic Zones a model of sovereign economic development and national production is strengthened that guarantees the productive chain, legal security, social justice and environmentally sustainable means,” the organization added in the note. .
Maduro arrived in China yesterday with the purpose of strengthening bilateral cooperation and held a meeting with the general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Huang Kunming, in which he highlighted that these special zones are “a path to diversify the economy and to expand the productive forces of Venezuela, linked to the high technology of this new era”.
Maduro’s last visit to China had been in 2018, during which he praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision of a “common destiny for humanity.” This is his eleventh trip to the Asian giant.
China, whose President Xi last visited Venezuela in 2014, maintains close relations with the internationally isolated Maduro Government and is one of the main creditors of the Latin American country, whose GDP fell 80% in a decade due to the effect of the crisis. economical.
Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez traveled to Shanghai and Beijing this week and met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to secure new investments in the oil sector and discuss possible joint ventures between companies from the two countries.
A month before Rodríguez’s trip, Maduro had signed the decrees activating four Special Economic Zones, located in different strategic regions of the country, in order to advance the construction of a new post-oil model.
Maduro’s visit to China comes as world leaders gather in India for a G20 summit from which the Chinese president is absent.
China lent some $50 billion to Venezuela in the 2010s, an amount the South American country pledged to repay through oil shipments.
In 2018, the year in which Maduro won elections that were not recognized by a large part of the international community due to alleged irregularities, the debt amounted to 20 billion dollars.