Mexico’s four new special economic zones will reverse a centuries-long process of regression for the south of the country, where economic growth has lagged well behind the north, said President Enrique Peña Nieto this week.
The president was speaking at a ceremony Tuesday in the Michoacán port of Lázaro Cárdenas where he announced instructions to officials at the Finance Secretariat and his office to create a decentralized agency to establish the new zones.
Those instructions also called for at least one anchor business to be operating in each of the four before the conclusion of Peña Nieto’s term in 2018.
The president said the zones represent “a seed of hope for families living in the south of the country; it means settling a historic debt with a project for the future.”
The first of the zones are the port of Lázaro Cárdenas, including neighboring municipalities in Michoacán and Guerrero; a corridor in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec between Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, and Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, that includes both those cities; and the Pacific coast port of Puerto Chiapas.
In 2017 another zone is to be created in the petroleum corridor of Tabasco-Campeche.
Peña Nieto issued eight orders as part of his announcement to set out the process for initiating the economic zones.
Key among them are developing high-impact tax incentives that are attractive compared to other regions of the world in order to lure investment. Another is to analyze the public works projects that will be required and how they will be financed.
The president said there is one Mexico that competes successfully in the global economy and is recording growing income levels and development. But another Mexico remains stalled and has not been able to take advantage of its productivity potential, he said, and “suffers from social deficiencies . . . that are unacceptable in the 21st century.”
One of every 10 Mexicans lives in Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, but only one of every US $36 has found its way to those states in the form of foreign investment in the last 15 years, Peña Nieto said.
Source: Milenio (sp)