Venezuela’s president Maduro set to host Xi Jinping for an upcoming 'historic' visit

Xi Jinping welcomed to come to Venezuela to "ratify a series of development agreements"

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 July, 2014, 12:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 July, 2014, 12:52pm

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that he would be welcoming Chinese president Xi Jinping for an official visit “in the next days.”

The Chinese leader will be making a stop in Caracas as part of his trip to Brazil for the summit of the BRICS group of emerging powers.

Maduro, speaking during the tour of a Chinese bus factory in northern Venezuela Friday, described Xi’s upcoming visit as “historic,” but did not give a date.

Xi “will come to Venezuela on an official trip to ratify a series of development agreements,” Maduro said, in remarks carried on state news media.

Xi will co-chair the BRICS meeting of leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa which begins in Brazil on July 15, Chinese officials said earlier in Beijing.

Xi will continue on to Argentina, Venezuela -- where China has invested heavily in exchange for oil -- and longtime Communist ally Cuba.

It is Xi’s second trip to Latin America since taking office as head of state last year, and China is always on the look-out for resources to power its economy.

China has become one of the most important foreign investors in Latin America, and has several joint agreements with Venezuela.

In September 2013, when Maduro was on an official visit to China, Xi promised heavy investments in Venezuela’s oil industry.

China is Venezuela’s second most important oil export market after the United States, according to government figures.