Venezuela creates special economic zone based on Chinese model

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed a decree to create the Orinoco Oil Belt Strategic Development Zone, in the Eastern state of Monagas, in an area exploited by the Petromonagas joint venture firm.

The head of state explained that the idea for this development zone was drawn from the experience of similar economic zones in China.

Soundbite (Spanish): Nicolas Maduro. President of Venezuela:
“When I was Foreign Minister, I had the personal opportunity to go to China and see the benefits brought about by the creation of the special economic zones. Each zone is developed according to its own strengths.”

The decree he signed today also included an agreement with Russian oil com-pany, Rosneft, which will increase its participation in Petromonagas, with an additional investment of 500 million U.S. dollars.

Maduro also highlighted the agreements reached with other oil-exporting coun-tries in recent days, in order to stabilize international oil markets and stop the sustained fall in prices.

Soundbite (Spanish) Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela:

“As President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, I can say that, to a large extent, the stability of fair oil prices depends on the stability of the global financial system. A great crisis seems like it is near but we are acting to prevent this crisis.”

The Orinoco Oil Belt is the largest oil reserve in the world, spread over more than 55,000 square kilometers.

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