China has signed a deal with Bolivia pledging to assist in the construction and launch of the nation’s first communication satellite. The satellite, dubbed Tupac Katari, is due to be operational by 2014 at the latest. The deal is funded by the China Development Bank and will see close cooperation between the Bolivian Space Agency and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. As well as the financing for the project, China will guarantee the quality of the satellite and ensure that its design and facilities ‘serve Bolivia’s economic development and needs of its people’. During a recent visit to Beijing, Bolivia’s president Evo Morales said that the agreement fosters friendship between the two nations, as well as encouraging ‘technological and economic exchanges’.