CARACAS--Venezuela and South Africa have made progress on an agreement, which will facilitate the trading of pharmaceuticals and other goods.

The deal, which will also see the two country exchange expertise in the areas of education, agriculture, and mining, was discussed Tuesday by Jose Gregorio Vielma Mora, Venezuela's Minister of Foreign Trade and International Investment, and Joseph Muzi Khehl, South Africa's Ambassador to the South American country.

Vielma Mora tweeted that the two countries are in the process of strengthening their South-South Bridge, enhancing strategic areas for both nations. He commented that Venezuela's new cryptocurrency, the Petro, could be used to finalize future commercial deals between the two countries.

The Venezuelan official emphasized that the meeting between the two brother nations will result in economic cooperation and investment agreement, capable of circumventing the economic siege imposed on the South American country by the United States, European Union and, most recently, Switzerland and Panama.

On February 20, Venezuela officially launched the Petro, the first cryptocurrency backed by oil reserves. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said the goal of the digital coin is to combat sanctions and the "economic war" waged by the United States government and its junior partners against his country and advance "on issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade."

The cryptocurrency is the first of its kind released by a country and based on its natural resources. It generated sales of over five billion dollars during its pre-sale period and had recorded over 186,000 certified purchases. The Petro has also significantly strengthened the country's foreign reserves amid increased international aggression.