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Mexico to give first upfront payment to secure WHO’s COVID-19 vaccines

The payment follows Mexico's commitment to purchase WHO's COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX

Mexico to give first upfront payment to secure WHO’s COVID-19 vaccines
Through COVAX, Mexicl will ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines - Photo: RDIF HANDOUT
English 30/09/2020 14:39 Leonor Flores Mexico City Actualizada 18:16

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Mexico’s Finance Minister Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez warned that if the COVID-19 pandemic is not contained, there will not be a constant economic growth that will affect the most vulnerable population.

Hence, he announced that this week, Mexico will pay MXN $4.2 billion in advance for the purchase of vaccine against coronavirus agreed on as part of the multilateral mechanism COVAX to begin distributing the vaccine in the first months of 2021.

“This week, we will pay the first advance to purchase the vaccines against COVID-19, the ones stemmed from the COVAX frame, two contracts with pharmaceutical companies, and two additional bilateral contracts with countries,” he said before the Congress.

During his participation as part of the comments on the Second Government Report and to explain the 2021 economic package, he said that the distribution of the vaccine will begin in the first quarter of 2021.

Recommended: Mexico's economic growth will be tied to the creation of a vaccine against COVID-19

The Finance Minister added that no one is to blame for the crisis we are living except for the impact and the consequences of living with the new virus guaranteeing resources for the health sector.

“No country is responsible for the health crisis but we are responsible for lessening its impact in regard to the available resources,” he expressed.

Therefore, he told the Congress there is no choice between economy and health.

“The economy will only grow sustainably if we keep contained the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” he insisted.

Herrera said that in the 2021 budget, the response to the pandemic will continue to determine the exercise of economic policies in a frame of macro stability and the management of public finances that does not compromise its stability in the medium term.

Taxes
Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez stressed that for next year, the economic package does not contain new taxes nor increases the rate of the valid ones as a protection measure for those in need.

“It is not the moment to extend the tax catalog or the IEPS and even less when a great part of the population has been hard hit.”

He stressed Mexico’s crackdown on tax evasion and fraud will continue based on improved collection efficiency and the criminal tax reform.

No more debt
In another part of his speech, Herrera Gutiérrez asserted Mexico will work for macroeconomic stability and tax discipline.

He said that unlike other countries who opted for strict confinement and debt to face the economic crisis caused by the measures to combat the health emergency, Mexico does not have the conditions to do the same.

He mentioned that a debt emission of nearly 30% of the GDP as advanced economies would represent to pay additional interests worth USD $350 billion that is equivalent to the IMSS budget besides pensions and surpasses the total expenses for medium and higher education.

Arturo Herrera asserted there is no perfect budget and that it is not an easy task but 2021 budget is expected to contribute to strengthening the economic recovery by the hand of the USMCA, the vaccine, oil prices, the participation of the finance sector, and the reform to pensions.

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