Venezuela will gradually increase its oil production throughout the next few months with a US$5 billion loan granted by China, President Nicolas Maduro announced in Beijing this Tuesday.
“A loan worth US$5 billion dollars has been signed with China in order to increase oil production progressively during the next months,” he said during his weekly television program broadcast from the Venezuelan Embassy in Beijing. Venezuela currently produces 2.5 million barrels of oil per day.
President Maduro said that Venezuela sends 700,000 barrels of oil daily to China, and announced this would be increased shortly to about a million barrels per day.
"We have forged a true cooperation partnership with the Chinese government as well as with many companies that have allowed us to develop in numerous sectors," said Maduro in the lead-up to his trip.
China has emerged as a key ally to Venezuela, signing several funding agreements in exchange for oil supplies.
Last April, the Venezuelan government secured a US$5 billion loan from Beijing in support of social and infrastructure projects.
China, which is Venezuela's largest creditor, has loaned Venezuela US$46 billion over the last eight years, with US$24 billion already paid back.
China is increasingly looking to Latin America to expand its comprehensive strategic partnerships.
According to Chinese government figures, trade between China and Latin America was worth around US$240 billion in the first 11 months of 2014, up 1.5 percent from the previous year, with China investing US$9 billion in the region in the first six months alone.
Maduro is in China on the second leg of his tour in Asia. He visited Vietnam before arriving in Beijing.
WATCH: Maduro in China to Strenghthen Bilateral Ties