Continued from page 2

CARACAS | Venezuela said China on Wednesday agreed to a new $4 billion loan to help the South American country boost oil production.

Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said the $4 billion loan is one of multiple joint projects. He also said that Chinese companies are involved in plans to increase production of iron and aluminum.

Mr. Ramirez said during a meeting with Chinese officials that the loan agreement will be signed shortly.

China has swiftly become Venezuela’s biggest foreign lender in recent years and has previously agreed to more than $32 billion in loans. Venezuela is repaying the loans with oil shipments.