Business and political leaders from the U.S. and Mexico gathered recently in Merida, Mexico, for the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue and Business Summit for Investment in Mexico, an event organized to promote greater trade at a time when actions by both governments have rattled investors, expressing optimism despite times of uncertainty and tensions over the border and illegal immigration.
President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, participated in the Summit as a witness of honour for the signing of the Agreement between the Private Sectors of Mexico and the United States and spoke positively about the willingness to move forward expressed jointly by investors from both countries.
President Obrador also thanked President Donald Trump for his interest in the discussions on trade, migration, security issues and development cooperation, as well as the U.S. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross; Deputy Secretary Energy, Dan Brouillette; CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donohue; and BlackRock CEO, Larry D. Fink, for their participation in the Summit.
The Government of Mexico has undertaken six commitments which will provide certainty to entrepreneurs and investors to develop projects in the country. With the sincere desire expressed together with investors and authorities from our neighboring country, the United States, we will be able to provide real options for people to improve their wellbeing, through the integration of social factors into the search for foreign investment.
“This meeting is an example of the policy we should follow, a policy that can be maintained when there is a sincere desire by the productive sectors and the governments of both nations.”
The Mexican president made a presentation to the investors and authorities of both countries where he spoke about the commitments that will be fulfilled by the public sector to facilitate the development of projects:
“For our part, we are committed to upholding the true Rule of Law … respecting the commitments that were made for approval of the Free Trade Agreement … developing southeast Mexico and to offer cooperation for the development of the Central American countries …”
He also reiterated that the federal government will continue “its policy of promoting investment by lowering taxes and increasing salaries without affecting companies’ stability along the 3,180 kilometers of the border with the United States.” In addition, he highlighted the commitment to respect the investment contracts assumed by the federal government.
The president also highlighted the need for understanding between the two countries, adding, and “Going forward, we must also think about including the social element of the economy, farmers, workers, environmentalists, and cooperatives, among others. We must forge partnerships among the three sectors.”
Mexico has the 11th largest economy in the world (measured by GDP controlling for PPP), and is the 14th recipient of Foreign Direct Investment internationally. In terms of the bilateral economic relation, Mexico is the second largest trading partner to the US, with goods and services trade totaling an estimated $521.5 billion US dollars in 2018, with a positive trade balance in for Mexico of $132 billion USD. Similarly, from 1999 to 2018, the accumulated foreign direct investment from the US into Mexico totaled $256 billion USD, equivalent to around 50% of the total during that period.