Peña Nieto and Rajoy, yesterday in La Moncloa./Picture: Cipriano Pastrano/La Razón.
Eva Cantón. Madrid
As well as his praises for King Juan Carlos I, who has hosted a State visit for the last time, Enrique Peña Nieto leaves behind a promise that Mexico is a safe place to invest, a country with great business perspectives. The Mexican President also takes home with him a fair number of bilateral agreements to drive commercial exchanges.
The last of these, signed between the Foreign Commerce Institute (ICEX) and Proméxico, at the high level business meeting that took place at the headquarters of the CEOE, sets up the exchange of information about business opportunities that will allow companies from both sides of the Atlantic to access public tenders and bids.
In the last twelve years, the commercial flow between Mexico and Spain has never stopped growing, but, during his stay in Madrid, Peña Nieto highlighted the need to increase them and make the most of the opportunities offered by the opening up of the Mexican economy.
His government has initiated a process of structural reforms to invigorate an economy which, according to the calculation of Mexico’s Treasury Minister, Luis Videgaray, will grow at a pace of 5% over the next few years. In this context, investment programmes of about 440,000 million euros are forecast between now and 2018.
One of the most emblematic of these is without a doubt the reform to the energy sector, which will open up to private enterprise the exploitation of oil sites, though the State will maintain ownership over hydrocarbons.
“Mexico is an economy open to the world”, underscored Peña Nieto speaking to the businessmen, conscious that a big part of the country’s growth depends on foreign trade. In addition, the Central American giant is the second most important market in Latin America, after Brazil, and the second for Spanish investment.
Spain is also the second biggest European investor in the county and the third on an international level. Proof of the liveliness of these commercial relations is the fact that there are nearly 5,000 Spanish companies established in Mexico and that in the last fifteen years more than 3,000 million euros have been invested there.
Pemex’s leaving Repsol will not influence the construction of flotels in the Galician shipyards
The only shadow that could have been cast over Peña Nieto’s visit took the shape of Pemex, but Mexico’s principal oil company put an end, on 3 June, to the series of disagreements with Repsol with the announcement of the sale of 7.86% of the capital it owned in the company led by Antonio Brufau.
Thus it was easy for the Mexican President to reassure the Spanish representatives when he stated that Pemex’s decision was based on “managerial, technical and financial” criteria and that it would not influence the close relationship with the Government of Mariano Rajoy.
There will also not be any consequences for the Mexican oil company’s project which adjudicated to two Spanish companies, Barreras and Navantia, the building in Galician shipyards, at Vigo and Ferrol, of two flotels which are to house the workers of maritime platforms.