Why AMLO is busy meeting with private sector leaders

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Meetings between Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and private sector leaders focus on investments in the Southeast, the National Infrastructure Plan (PNI) 2020-24 and the deployment of 5G, according to an expert.

Several meetings are taking place before AMLO travels to Washington on July 10 to meet with US President Joe Biden, where he will present investment opportunities in the south-southeast region of Mexico, said José Ignacio Martínez, chief from the Mexican think tank Lacen, to BNamericas.

Specifically, AMLO is promoting the southeast region, where the Maya train, the Olmeca oil refinery and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec rail corridor are being built, he said.

Throughout June, AMLO and ministers held closed meetings with key private sector leaders.

For example, on June 16, AMLO met with members of the country’s largest business associations, CCE and CMN, to discuss investments, according to media reports.

The next day, AMLO said at his morning press conference that he would like to take business leaders on this trip to Washington. “Let’s see if we have a joint meeting with Mexican and American businessmen,” he said.

According to Martínez, the idea is to present “a portfolio of investments already committed to then make President Biden see that both the [Mexican] government and [Mexican] business leaders are ready to invest heavily, mainly in the southeast of the country,” he said.

This “will motivate Biden so that the US government can also invest in southern Mexico with a very important objective, which is to create jobs and thus contain migration”.

NIBP

Some of these investments could be part of the third package of projects of the national infrastructure program 2020-24, which has still not been presented.

Private sector leaders from different chambers of commerce, including the CCE, said the package was ready. But the government has the final say on when to present it.

According to Martínez, the government has until August to present the package, which must include initiatives in the areas of water, energy, communications and transport with a participation of at least 50% from the private sector.

Failure to introduce the package would cause constitutional problems, as the government must present its final spending budget in September.

AMLO’s mandate ends in 2024.

5G

On June 21, AMLO met with Samsung CEO Sungan Choi, whose company won contracts to build the Olmeca refinery.

Although few details were released, Martínez said the meeting was aimed at bolstering Mexico’s plans to deploy 5G.

The meeting “goes in this direction to obtain a greater investment by this [South] Korean company,” he said, recalling that Samsung has become an ally of the United States to stop the proliferation of Huawei networks in Latin America.

Samsung “is one of the companies that is strongly promoting the so-called 5G connectivity network and it is because in the last meeting of the high level group between Mexico and the United States, a telecommunications security group was created to precisely contain/stop the advance of China, Huawei, in particular.

Pictured: AMLO and Energy Minister Rocío Nahles with Samsung executives on June 21.

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