President Maduro Heads To China In Bid To Boost Venezuela’s Failing Economy

Nicolas Maduro
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with government officials at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas
(Photo: REUTERS)

President Nicolas Maduro departed on Wednesday en route to China to discuss economic agreements and business opportunities with the Asian powerhouse, in the midst of economic crisis hitting Venezuela.

In a statement given prior to his flight for China, Maduro told the press that the official trip is necessary and full of opportunities and expectations for the embattled OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) member state, the report from Japan Times quoted him as saying.

Maduro, however, reiterated that Venezuela has never been in better conditions, following the decision of his administration to activate certain programs which are aimed to achieve economic recovery and growth, as well as bring prosperity to the Latin American nation.

It was reported back in August the move from Caracas to demonetize certain Bolivar currencies, only to replace them with new ones called Bolivar Soberano. As mentioned in the report, the implementation of the new currency drew havoc and confusion among the Venezuelan constituents who couldn't seem to get their heads wrapped around the recent monetary system.

The changes, as specified by BBC, include the removal of five zeros originally found in the old Bolivar. Having said so, a cup of coffee, for example, which previously sells at 2.5 million bolivares is now priced at 25 new bolivares.

Maduro considered the new system an integral part of the government's recovery strategy which, as he added, will help improve the condition of the nation.

Moreover, the Venezuelan head of state pointed out that his trip is also an opportunity for the oil-rich country to deepen its bilateral relations with the Asian economic giant.

Although Venezuela's Information Ministry has yet to provide further details of Maduro's trip, the report from Reuters indicated the confirmation from China's Foreign Ministry office.

As revealed in the report, Maduro's trip to China is at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. He will be in the country beginning Thursday until Saturday.

Maduro's second in line, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, is currently in China and is slated to meet with Chinese counterpart, VP Wang Qishan.

As further mentioned by the ministry, both China and Venezuela have long shared a fruitful friendship and cooperation not only in the political realm but most importantly also in the economic and trade sector.

Oil Trade

The news outlet, meanwhile, mentioned that VP Rodriguez had earlier met with Zhang Jianhua, head of the state-held energy firm, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for what appears to be a discussion regarding a joint energy project.

For more than ten years, China has been working with Venezuela through oil-for-loan agreements as Beijing seeks to establish energy security in the country.

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