Merida, 20th April 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela's Sidor and Venalum have signed new agreements under the Joint China-Venezuela Fund, according to minister for industry José David Cabello.
Cabello stated that the Venezuelan government is “working to put the productive system into overdrive”.
“We're going to sign ... contracts to improve production,” the minister stated on Wednesday.
Both Sidor and Venalum are subsidiaries of the state owned industrial conglomerate, Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana (CVG). Sidor is Venezuela's largest steel producer, while Venalum is CVG's aluminium producing arm. Both companies have entered into agreements with China's Minmetals Corporation – one of the largest metals companies in the world.
Cabello stated that the deals with Minmetals illustrate the Venezuelan government's commitment to “reviving” the country's industrial sector. According to Cabello, the government has invested more than US1.1 billion in “basic industries”.
CVG head Carlos Osorio said that deals with Minmetals will allow the state owned companies to diversify their production.
Osorio stated that the government and state enterprises aim to “promote national development policies based on strategic alliances” with countries such as China.
Under former president Hugo Chavez, China became a major source of credit for the Venezuelan government. Venezuela has inked around US$41 billion in loan agreements with Beijing since 2007, including over US$5 billion through the Joint China-Venezuela Fund. Most loans are repaid with Venezuelan oil.
Sidor now has deals with Minmetals worth over US$250 million, while Venalum has deals with Chinese aluminium producer Chalieco worth around US$500 million.
“With these actions to expand production levels and strengthen economic policy...[we are] combating the economic war,” Cabello stated.
“For those who say the nation has stopped, we show that it has not, Venezuela is moving,” he said.