A global trade deal concerning energy has been expected to dominate the talks between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Chinese President Hu Jintao during the former’s 6 day visit to the Asian country. During the past months, Mr. Chavez has been on a series of world tours in an effort to build and fortify its alliance with other nations and to gain international support regarding its plans to accede to the UN Security Council. While the Venezuelan leader’s agenda included other economic and political issues, his discussion with the Chinese president has been expected to centralize on a potential global trade pact on energy.
At present, the South American nation is seeking for measures in order to lessen its dependence on the United States in terms of the former’s oil exports. Despite the ideological and political differences between them, the US remains as one of the biggest markets of Venezuela’s oil. Meanwhile, China currently needs more energy supplies in order to feed its booming economy. The Asian country’s fast economic boom has led to the increase of its energy demands. Since its resources are falling short, it needs to venture into potential global trade deals on energy in order to secure its present and future supplies.
During the visit, both Mr.Chavez and Mr. Jintao are expected to make another agreement, which will increase Venezuela’s oil exports to China. Moreover, the new global trade pact will also include the purchase of oil tankers from China. This is the fourth time the Venezuelan leader has traveled to China since he assumed the presidential office in 1998.
China’s interest in the Latin American country has increased after recently signing a global trade agreement with Chile. According to analysts, both Chile and China are two likely partners in the metal industry considering that the former is the world’s biggest copper producer, while the latter is the largest copper consumer worldwide.
Prior to the new global trade pact, both Venezuela and China had already cooperated on several energy issues. For instance, Chinese state-owned company CNPC is currently handling oil exploration in the South American country. According to reports, Venezuela has already offered to raise its oil supplies to China up to 1 million barrels per day by 2012.
At present, China ranks as the 2nd biggest consumer of energy worldwide next to the United States. But as its energy needs increase due to its emerging economy, China has been considering potential global trade deals with some nations in order to meet its current demands and secure its future energy supplies. Aside from Venezuela, the Chinese government has also embarked on strengthening its ties with oil producers in Africa. It must be noted that the region has one of the world’s richest oil resources. Prior to Mr. Chavez’ trip to China, Venezuela’s ambassador commented that the global trade pact would consolidate the strategic alliance between the two nations. Meanwhile, an energy expert said that the growing relationship between Venezuela and China was mutually advantageous for both of them.
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