Mexico still good for foreign investment: Calderon

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Mexico is still a safe destination for foreign investment, President Felipe Calderon insisted, despite the increasingly brutal violence of the country's drugs cartels.

"We explained that Mexico is a safe destination for investment, with ideal conditions for doing business," he told reporters at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.

Attracting foreign investment to his country was one of the main objectives of his visit to the international gathering.

Calderon talked up Mexico's economic situation, saying it had growth exceeding five percent in 2010 and creating more than 800,000 new jobs.

In terms of direct foreign investment it had the second highest rate of any country in 2010, he added.

"We receive 19 million dollars of direct foreign investment," he said -- an increase of 53 percent on the previous year.

"Despite the very challenging times we have experienced and very important action the federal government has been promoting... despite the violent actions of criminals, mostly in fights with other criminal groups and cartels in Mexico, we have seen these growth rates," he added.

Mexico's Finance Minster Ernesto Cordero also played down the effects of the drug war on business there, in comments to AFP on Thursday.

There was "no evidence" that the violence in the north of the country "had halted investment in Mexico", he said.

"As little by little we resolve our security problem, Mexico is going to become more attractive than it already is," he insisted.

According to government statistics, more than 15,200 were killed last year in attacks linked to organised crime, most of them in the country's troubled north.

Calderon has sent in more than 50,000 soldiers to take on the drugs cartels.

© 2011 AFP

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