Mexico ready for investment, president tells London

4th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto told British investors in London on Wednesday that his country was open for business, as he seeks to boost confidence abroad amid concerns over violence and corruption.

"Mexico is a good country to invest in," the president told the London audience, noting the reforms he had brought in since coming to power in 2012.

"Our country is a stable democracy, which has seen peaceful and orderly transitions of government every six years for the last 80 years."

The president's visit to Britain is part of a push to burnish his image internationally as he struggles with falling approval ratings and relentless drug violence at home.

The disappearance and alleged murder of 43 college students by a police-backed gang galvanised protests in Mexico, and on Tuesday Mexicans demonstrated in London calling on Britain to address the "human rights crisis".

Pena Nieto told the audience his country was on the right track, saying tourists to Mexico rose by six million to 29 million in 2014 and that his country offered access to 1.1 billion consumers through free trade agreements with 45 countries.

His speech followed a business forum at Buckingham Palace where British drinks company Diageo announced a $400 million dollar investment in Mexico.

It follows the multinational's acquisition of brand Tequila Don Julio last week.

Pena Nieto also met Prime Minister David Cameron and discussed opportunities for energy cooperation as part of European efforts to diversify fuel sources away from Russia amid tensions over Ukraine.

The two "talked about how the EU and Mexico can continue to co-operate on energy matters, including as part of the EU's strategy to increase diversification away from Russian energy sources" a spokesman for Cameron said.

The Mexican president is to end his visit on Thursday with a visit to Aberdeen in Scotland, the centre of the North Sea oil industry, where he will meet industry representatives.

He is expected to sign a memorandum of cooperation on Britain opening a $1 billion credit line to Mexico's state oil company Pemex for joint ventures.

If used, the money would go towards financing the purchases of goods and services provided by companies doing business in Britain.

© 2015 AFP

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