March 13, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 3/12/ 2013
In his first 100 days, the new Mexican president has surprised many with the momentum he has gathered toward achieving a major economic overhaul.
Enrique Peña Nieto has revised Mexico’s 40-year-old labor code and its dysfunctional education system. He jailed a union boss once considered untouchable and submitted legislation to attack corruption by stripping away public officials’ immunity from prosecution.
On Monday, he presented to Congress proposals to reform Mexico’s telecommunications sector that would give the government for the first time the power to force asset sales of monopolies and challenge the world’s richest businessman, Carlos Slim, who controls more than 70% of Mexican phones.
March 7, 2013
Authorities from the energy sector in the federal government informed that a network of corruption involving companies, contractors, employees, and officials at various levels operates in PEMEX.
Energy officials shared that information with federal legislators and felt that this network of corruption can present a challenge to energy reform scheduled for the second half of the year.
March 5, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 3/4/2013
Mexico’s ruling party has taken a step toward opening its state oil company to outsiders, a move that could eventually allow U.S. oil firms to drill south of the border. In an important test of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s sway over resistant factions of his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party has changed its bylaws to clear the way for changes at Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex.
Pemex, a symbol of nationalist pride, is the top source of tax revenue for the Mexican government. But its production of oil has been declining dramatically and the company is in dire need of outside expertise for deep-sea exploration. On Sunday, PRI, as the party is known, passed several changes that Peña Nieto needed for the reforms he promised as a hallmark of his administration. Chief and most difficult among them is opening the behemoth Pemex to private and foreign investment, long a taboo in this country.
March 4, 2013
By Duncan Wood, 3/4/2013
Last Saturday’s vote by the PRI party to change its statutes to allow for the application of the value added tax (IVA) to food and medicine, and to allow for increased private participation in the oil sector, significantly improves the prospects for the reform process under Enrique Peña Nieto. This marks an important victory for the reformers within the party, and is a sign that the government now faces minimal internal party divisions that could hold back the reform process. Although much bargaining and negotiation remains with the other parties, the fact that Peña Nieto can now move ahead to talk meaningfully with the other parties in Congress with a united party behind him strengthens his bargaining position.
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March 4, 2013
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto won support from his party to advance with his growth plan that includes ending a 75-year-old state monopoly on the oil industry.
Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as PRI, voted yesterday at its national assembly to end its opposition to constitutional changes that would ease state-owned Pemex’s grip on the oil industry. Pena Nieto hasn’t yet presented a bill proposing the changes and would have to win the votes in Congress, where his coalition controls 241 of 500 seats in the lower house.
February 28, 2013
Financial Times, 2/27/2013
Emilio Lozoya jumps to his feet and marches over to a wall cabinet in his 44th floor office at Pemex’s headquarters in Mexico City. “You see this?” the fresh-faced 38-year-old Harvard graduate, asks, holding up a glass vial with a pale liquid inside. “That’s pure gold. It’s as good as it gets.”
Mr Lozoya’s optimism is infectious as he contemplates the high-grade oil sample which he believes is emblematic of Mexico’s future. To ram home the point, he produces an investment bank report which describes the hemisphere as the world’s “new Middle East”. Shale gas production north of the border has already slashed energy costs in the US, setting the stage for a manufacturing resurgence few imagined only five years ago. Mr Lozoya believes the same is possible in Mexico.
February 25, 2013
Leaders of Mexico’s ruling party will propose changing its bylaws to allow taxes on food and medicine and increased private investment in the state-owned oil industry, according to one of the authors of the changes. The new language will be presented at the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s national assembly March 1-3 in Mexico City, said Javier Trevino, a congressman on the assembly’s organizing committee.
President Enrique Pena Nieto has pledged to lift growth by boosting tax collection and breaking Petroleos Mexicanos’s oil monopoly after eight years of production declines. Changing his party’s bylaws would give Pena Nieto the option of presenting bills to expand the items covered by the nation’s value-added tax and amend Mexico’s Constitution to let companies sign joint ventures with Pemex, Trevino said. The President hasn’t yet announced specifics for his planned legislation.
February 25, 2013
The New York Times, 2/23/2013
In India, people ask you about China, and, in China, people ask you about India: Which country will become the more dominant economic power in the 21st century? I now have the answer: Mexico.
Impossible, you say? Well, yes, Mexico with only about 110 million people could never rival China or India in total economic clout. But here’s what I’ve learned from this visit to Mexico’s industrial/innovation center in Monterrey. Everything you’ve read about Mexico is true: drug cartels, crime syndicates, government corruption and weak rule of law hobble the nation. But that’s half the story. The reality is that Mexico today is more like a crazy blend of the movies “No Country for Old Men” and “The Social Network.”