BEIJING, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday that China was willing to look at new areas of financial cooperation, but state media made no mention of specifics.
Maduro said before leaving he would sign economic and financing deals, as the OPEC nation struggles to make ends meet at a time of low oil prices. He will also visit Vietnam.
Xi said that China was willing to promote practical cooperation and “fully utilise existing financing mechanisms, look at developing finance, mining and agriculture and other such new cooperation”, state television reported.
China was also willing to help Venezuela raise its manufacturing ability, Xi added.
Maduro said he was happy to be in China for the commemorations this week marking 70 years since the end of World War Two and that his country wanted to increase cooperation in energy, finance and other areas, the report added.
No details were provided.
Venezuela has borrowed $50 billion from China through an oil-for-loans agreement created by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez in 2007, which has helped Chinese companies expand into Venezuelan markets amid chronic shortages of consumer goods.
Chinese financing has been crucial for Caracas since last year’s oil market rout because Venezuela’s borrowing costs on capital markets are the highest of any emerging market nation.
Vietnam’s state oil and gas group PetroVietnam is a 40 percent partner with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA in the Junin 2 heavy oil project in the Orinoco belt. A senior PDVSA source told Reuters in March that PetroVietnam is considering pulling out of the project. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)