Mexico to invest $390b to improve infrastructure

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (left) and France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius take their seats before offering a press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, on July 15, 2013. Mexico's president unveiled plans Monday for U
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (left) and France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius take their seats before offering a press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, on July 15, 2013. Mexico's president unveiled plans Monday for US$309 billion (S$390 billion) in private and public investments to improve the country's infrastructure during his six-year term, including the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors. 

MEXICO CITY, Distrito Federal (AFP) - Mexico's president unveiled plans Monday for US$309 billion (S$390 billion) in private and public investments to improve the country's infrastructure during his six-year term, including the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors.

President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December, said the flow of investments during the 2013-2018 period will depend on the approval of a fiscal reform that will be sent to the congress in September.

He said the funds will go toward building new ports, improving airports, and providing universal access to telecommunications.

It will also be used to build and modernise 19,000km of roads and 371km of railways as well as to launch three high-speed trains.

And the investments will be channeled toward the water and power utility companies and the country's state-run energy giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

Lamenting the disappointing growth of infrastructure in Latin America's second biggest economy, Pena Nieto said the program is aimed at "converting Mexico into a great, global logistical center." According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index, Mexico ranks 68th out of 144 nations when it comes to infrastructure.

In October 2008, then-president Felipe Calderon launched a US$4.1 billion infrastructure program to offset the effects of the global financial crisis on Mexico's economy.