CARACAS – Vice President Rafael Ramirez said on Friday that Venezuela would receive a new $5 billion tranche of funding this month from China.
The new disbursement will be received by the Joint Chinese-Venezuela Fund and allow Venezuela to maintain its pace of investment in large infrastructure projects, he told a press conference.
Ramirez, who also serves as Venezuela’s oil minister, said the agreement was reached after his meeting last week in Beijing with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and other authorities.
“We conducted a very detailed review of all our cooperation accords in the energy area, but also in the areas of technical cooperation, financing,” Ramirez said.
The Joint Chinese-Venezuela Fund, created in 2007, finances projects in Venezuela and receives contributions from the China Development Bank and Venezuela’s National Development Fund, or Fonden.
China is one of the main sources of external financing for the Venezuelan government, which provides the Asian giant with more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day.
Ramirez also made a stopover in Russia, saying he and President Vladimir Putin met and agreed on the terms for a $2 billion loan from Russian state-owned energy titan Rosneft to Venezuelan state-owned oil giant PDVSA.
The vice president said both China and Russia offered “permanent, unconditional support” to Venezuela’s government at a time when it is facing a wave of sporadically violent opposition protests.
Russia and China are strategic allies of leftist-led Venezuela, supplying the South American country with weapons and technology and helping fund its energy and industrial development plans.