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Venezuela, China to Build Computer, Appliance Plants
Apr 11, 2005
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has signed agreements with Chinese companies to build a computer factory and electrical appliance plants in the South American nation.

"A group of businessmen came and signed an agreement...we are going to build a computer assembly plant in Venezuela," Mr. Chavez said during a weekly television and radio program.

He did not say which companies' representatives he had met with in visits that took place over the past few days. He also did not provide investment figures, but said the computers would be sold in the domestic market and exported to the Caribbean and South America.

Mr. Chavez said he also signed agreements for joint ventures to build household appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines with Chinese partners.

The plants would use Venezuelan raw materials, including aluminum, iron, and steel, Chavez said, adding the agreements were part of his government's move to build more finished products.

Mr. Chavez has sought to bolster economic ties with China as part of his plan to widen the OPEC nation's trade relations beyond its heavy reliance on the U.S., the top buyer of its oil.

Mr. Chavez signed several agreements with China in January to increase the two nations' ties in energy, telecommunications, mining, and farming. (Reuters)

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