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Andean Group - April 2020

The continued importance of trade with China

Following six consecutive years of GDP contraction (2014-2019), in the midst of a pandemic, and with the price of oil hitting its lowest mark in the last 30 years, Venezuela is in urgent need of cash. In March, Nicolás Maduro turned to China for urgent financial assistance. Discussions included a renegotiation of the terms of payment of past Chinese loans (of which Venezuela has received the hefty sum of US$50bn since 2007), and the assurance of the continued exchange of oil for basic staples. As of April, one quarter of Venezuelan crude is shipped to China, and in return China provides 40% of Venezuelan food imports.

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