Venezuela’s congress voted Tuesday to double the amount the country can borrow from China under its oil-for-loan program, in a bid to finance state expenditure on welfare and infrastructure projects ahead of an October election, Reuters reported. Venezuela will now be able to borrow up to US$8 billion from China Development Bank at any given time, making China its largest source of foreign financing. Members of the ruling party say the funds are needed to boost sectors including manufacturing, with an aim of achieving first-quarter GDP growth of 5.6%, the fastest rate in almost four years. The bill was opposed by some, including lawmaker Americo De Grazia who said, “This has taken us back to the colonial era. As a result of this fund, we’re putting our future into debt – not just our future but that of our children and grandchildren.”
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