CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro departed Wednesday for China in search of agreements to bolster the oil-exporting country’s collapsing economy.
Maduro said the trip was “very necessary, very opportune and full of great expectations.”
“We are leaving under better conditions, having activated a program of economic recovery, growth and prosperity. We are going to improve, broaden and deepen relations with this great world power,” he said in a televised address.
Maduro’s government has massively devalued the national currency as part of a raft of measures intended to halt the economy’s free-fall into hyperinflation.
The International Monetary Fund projects Venezuela’s inflation rate will reach 1,000,000 percent by the end of the year.
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country, most of them into neighboring Latin American countries.
The trip to China is Maduro’s first outside the country since he was allegedly targeted by exploding drones at a military parade in Caracas Aug. 4.