Our reform programme will build a better future for Mexico – President Peña Nieto

August 21, 2014

08/20/14 Financial Times. By Enrique Peña Nieto 

Enrique Pena NietoMexico’s reform agenda is now complete. Eleven structural reforms were passed by congress over the past 20 months.

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Christie Plans a Working Trip to Mexico

August 8, 2014

08/08/14 The Wall Street Journal

shutterstock_182486318Chris Christie will travel to Mexico in September, his second international trip as New Jersey’s governor, as the Republican eyes a 2016 presidential run.

In an announcement Thursday, the administration billed the three-day trip from Sept. 3 to 5 as a trade mission to promote “economic growth and job creation between New Jersey and Mexico.”

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Headlines from Mexico

August 4, 2014

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1. Deputies approve energy reform, including an anti-crisis plan. This weekend, in the Chamber of Deputies, the secondary legislation of the energy reform was passed. This Monday, the proposed changes will be discussed again in the Senate to make the necessary changes and then will be sent to the President of the Republic for publication and enactment. The main change that the Deputies proposed was the creation of an anti-crisis plan in case Mexico enters into an economic crisis. This would allow the Federal Government to use resources derived from the sale of crude oil that so far have been accumulated in funds administered by the Ministry of Finance.

Read more from Excelsior…

2. Son of former Governor of Michoacan goes to Santiaguito prison. Last night, Rodrigo Vallejo Mora, son of the former governor of Michoacan Fausto Vallejo Figueroa, joined the Centre for Prevention and Social Readaptation of Santiaguito, in the State of Mexico, suspected of covering up his conversation with Servando Gómez Martínez, La Tuta, leader of the criminal group identified as the Knights Templar. The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) reported that after spending 48 hours at the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Vallejo Mora refused to testify about the video footage in which he is seen talking to the cartel’s leader. His case is allocated to a district court where his legal situation will be resolved.

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3. According to the Ministry of Public Education and the National Institute for Educational Evaluation, 60% of potential teachers in the public system are ‘unfit’ to teach. Only 3.5% of the teachers achieved the highest level in the three performance exams that were applied in past days. Despite the result, there are still unresolved issues regarding the approval criteria and the score needed to compete for a teaching spot in the public system.

Read more from La Jornada, and El Norte…

4. The number of migrants secured by the National Migration Institute increased significantly in recent years while its budget has hardly improved. During the past two years, the number of detained migrants increased over 30% and in the case of unaccompanied minors the increase surpassed 130%, while its budget only increased 6.4%. Several analysts have pointed out that it is important to give greater financial resources to the Institute because today most of the annual budget is used to cover administrative costs and not allocated to other investments needed to efficiently perform necessary tasks in the sector.

Read more from El Universal…

5. Mexican Senate creates commission to follow-up migrant children crisis. Five members will report the situation of unaccompanied children on their journey to America. The approval of its creation will be voted on at its meeting on special session on Monday. The Political Coordination Board (Jucopo by its acronym in Spanish) requires continuity in the work done on behalf of migrant children and adolescents through Mexico into the United States.

Read more from El Universal…

Mexico weighs taking on Pemex pension liabilities

July 30, 2014
07/30/14 Financial Times
piggy bank with coinsMexico is poised to increase its public debt at a time of sluggish economic growth, as the government considers taking some of Pemex’s giant pensions liabilities on to its own balance sheet.

The move comes amid a sweeping reform of the energy and power sectors that will see the state oil company as well as utility CFE transform into “state productive enterprises” by the end of next year, competing with private investment.

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BMW’s $1 billion plant surfs Mexican investment wave

July 7, 2014

07/03/14 Reuters

Washauto06_bmw_325_AudeVivereLuxury car maker BMW (BMWG.DE) revealed a $1 billion Mexican plant investment on Thursday, becoming the latest major automaker to take advantage of the country’s growing industrial base and tariff-free access to the U.S. market.

BMW outlined plans to build a factory in the central Mexican city of San Luis Potosi, reducing the German company’s dependence on higher-cost plants at home.

The plant will begin assembling models in 2019 with an initial workforce of 1,500 and annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, the company said.

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New airport plan for Mexico City eyes six runways

June 24, 2014

06/19/14 Reuters

airportMexico is reviewing design plans for a new 120 billion peso ($9.23 billion) Mexico City airport which will eventually have six runways and should begin operating by 2018, according to sources familiar with the plan.

The new hub is due to replace the overstretched Benito Juarez International Airport and would be built on the area of the Texcoco lake bed nearby, said two people with knowledge of the project, few details about which have been revealed.

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Mexican Billionaire Slim Backs Biotech Firm Focused On Cancer and Kidney Disease Treatments

June 24, 2014

Forbes, 06/23/14

medicine science 2Atara Biotherapeutics Inc., which is developing therapies for illnesses such as kidney disease and cancer, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO), The Wall Street Journal  reported on Friday. Through a family trust that owns 9.3% of Atara shares, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú is one of Atara’s key investors, according to the regulatory filing.

In the filings Atara said that the proceeds from the IPO would be used for development and clinical studies of two of its drug candidates and to expand its research for other drug candidates. Asked by email whether Slim plans to increase his participation in Atara, Arturo Elías Ayub, Slim’s spokesperson, declined to comment.

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Mexico Energy Reform: Imaginary Pemex

June 23, 2014

06/23/14 Proceso: Olga Pellicer– Translated by: Jane Brundage – Mexico Voices

Pemex Logo

Political life in Mexico is full of surprises. One of them has been public indifference to the forthcoming adoption of secondary legislation for the constitutional reform in the energy sector, which is one of the most significant changes for the life of the country. Several analysts have called attention to the fact that “the devil is in the details.” That is, the true scope of what it is intended to reform–such as, among other things, making Pemex a productive enterprise competing on an equal footing with domestic and foreign investment–will only be seen when changes to the Constitution are implemented.

The secondary laws reveal how far the change goes: if the reforms respond to the proclaimed great ends, or if they hide a number of inefficiencies that will bring the country to better paths only with great difficulty. Therefore, a careful reading and sharp critique of the voluminous document sent by the Executive branch would be in order. Time has passed, but necessary reflection on the mistakes and successes of the secondary [implementing] legislation has not taken place.
The political parties of the opposition have been locked in their internal struggles and, in the case of the PAN [National Action Party], they are committed to the planned vote. The parties of the left are, in principle, the fiercest guardians of oil wealth; but besides trying to resolve their endless struggles, they have chosen to focus their energies on promoting the people’s consultation to overturn the reform and on going abroad to denounce the falseness of the prosperous Mexico that Peña Nieto promises. I have doubts about the appropriateness and effectiveness of such activities but, in any case, what damaged all of them is their lack of responsibility in approaching approval of what they have neither studied nor discussed before the public. Early discussions in the Senate portend a hasty adoption of laws by the PRI [Party of the Institutional Revolution] and PAN with the least possible public participation.

Citigroup Mexico Probe Looks at Loan Changes Before Fraud

May 30, 2014

piggy bank with coinsBloomberg 05/30/14

Mexican authorities are probing why Citigroup Inc. (C)’s local unit boosted the size and length of loans to an oil-services firm in the months leading up to the discovery of a $400 million fraud, the nation’s chief banking regulator said. Officials are examining a change Banamex made around September 2012 to extend due dates to about three months instead of three weeks, Jaime Gonzalez, head of the regulatory agency CNBV, said in an interview. He’s also looking into the decision by bank executives a year later to raise credit limits for Oceanografia SA, the oil-services firm at the center of the investigation, he said.

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USC and Mexico align to boost opportunities in education and innovation

May 29, 2014
USC Photo/Gus Ruelas

USC Photo/Gus Ruelas

USC News, 5/29/14

USC strengthened its ties with the government of Mexico during a recent visit by a delegation led by Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade.

Along with Sergio Alcocer, under-secretary for North American affairs, and Carlos Sada, consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles, Meade met with USC President C. L. Max Nikias and USC Trustee Edward P. Roski, Jr. after the launch of the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research in Mexico City.

The May 21 forum, which was jointly convened by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Meade, was established to foster the growth of student exchange, research and innovation programs between the U.S. and Mexico.

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