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Mexican President signs landmark energy reform

Published on Aug 12, 2014 4:39 AM
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (centre), the president of Mexico's Senate Raul Cervantes (left) and president of the Chamber of Deputies Jose Gonzalez hold up a written version of an energy reform at the National Palace in Mexico City August 11, 2014. Mr Pena Nieto signed into law on Monday a package of laws setting out the fine print of a landmark energy reform that promises to lure billions of dollars in investment to the country's ailing oil, gas and electricity sectors. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a package of landmark energy reform Bills on Monday, ending the 76-year-old state monopoly on oil drilling and reopening the sector to foreign companies.

"This represents a historic change that will accelerate the economic growth and development of Mexico in the coming years," the President told hundreds of guests at a ceremony in the capital.

The signing comes five days after the Mexican Senate gave final approval to the laws, the centrist leader's most ambitious political project and the centerpiece of his efforts to kick-start Latin America's second-largest economy.

Mr Pena Nieto argues the nine new laws and 12 amendments will fuel growth, create jobs and modernise state energy firm Pemex, whose oil production has fallen from 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to 2.5 million today.

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