Aug 07 2011
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Venezuela in $1b Housing Deal
Venezuela signed a $1 billion deal with Iran to build 10,000 houses in the South American country, according to a statement on the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry's website.
The houses will be constructed over the next 18 months in the Venezuelan states of Yaracuy, Lara and Carabobo and are expected to house 45,000 people.
The deal is a part of President Hugo Chavez Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela project, the socialist leader's plan to build two million housing units for the country's poor over the next seven years. Chavez has made the project one of his top priorities ahead of next year's presidential election, The Wall Street Journal reported.
To meet its housing deficit, Venezuela is working with companies from China, Iran, Turkey and Belarus for construction as well as financing.
President Hugo Chavez has developed close ties to Tehran, and an Iranian company previously helped build public housing complexes in Venezuela.
Earlier in October 2010, Chavez called on Iranian experts to resolve the housing problem in his country.
"I hope the Iranian minister of housing and urban development could come to our country with his
experts and find a solution to our problem just as they resolved the housing problem in Iran in such a short time," Chavez said during a visit to Parand City, Tehran province, at the time.
Parand, the biggest of Iran's new cities, is the model of industrializing housing development in the country and houses almost 700,000 people.
Iran has expanded relations with Latin America in recent years, especially in the commerce and industrial sectors.
Over the past five years, Iran and Venezuela have signed a number of memoranda of understanding and contracts for joint operation and investments in oil and gas projects.
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