Mexico to spend $44 billion on National Infrastructure Program

The plan compromises private-sector commitments totaling USD $44.3 billion stretched across 147 projects through all the country

Mexico to spend $44 billion on National Infrastructure Program
A construction worker walks on scaffolding at a construction site – Photo: Eugene Hoshiko/AP
English 26/11/2019 15:56 Reuters Mexico City Sharay Angulo, Abraham González, David Alire García & Alistair Bell/REUTERS Actualizada 16:05
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On Tuesday, Mexico’s government announced the first phase of an ambitious infrastructure program underwritten by the private sector, covering a wide range of transportation and other public works projects over five years.

The plan compromises private-sector commitments totaling USD $44.3 billion stretched across 147 projects: 42 at the south, 49 in the north, 45 in the center, and 11 crossing the whole country.

The top sectors covered by the plan are transportation, tourism, and telecommunications.

The transportation projects alone, including highways, rail, ports, and airports, are seen costing nearly USD $14.7 billion through 2024, or one-third of the plan’s spending target, the government said.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the second phase of infrastructure projects will be announced in January and will focus primarily on the energy sector.

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“We’ve joined forces to create a mechanism that allows for the acceleration of the private sector’s infrastructure project initiatives,” said Carlos Salazar, the head of Mexico’s main business council CCE, at the event announcing the plan.

López Obrador, who has sought to trim government spending during his first year as president, described the first phase of the infrastructure program as giving a jolt to Mexico’s economy.

“We’re providing a huge push with this investment program,” he said while congratulating assembled business leaders for their “civic and social” commitment to Mexico’s future growth.

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Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim, whose holding company Grupo Carso is involved in the plan, said after the announcement that attractive conditions exist for private-sector driven investments.

“There are healthy public finances with a lot of discipline on the part of the public sector...and I think that gives great confidence for private investment, which is what’s available,” he said.

As growth has cooled, López Obrador’s government has targeted a 1% primary budget surplus this year in an effort to project fiscal responsibility.

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