Mexico's Fox eyes debate on foreign petchem investments

14 May 2002 21:25  [Source: ICIS news]

MEXICO CITY (CNI)--Mexican President Vicente Fox said Tuesday that Mexico’s congress next month will begin discussing important energy reforms such as increasing foreign investment in the state-controlled petrochemicals sector.

"We’re working on reforms to open energy to private investment in the case of petrochemicals, electricity generation and natural gas," Fox told business leaders during a trip to Brussels, Belgium.

Fox said lawmakers already had the initiatives and would consider them when congress reconvenes in June. Congress ended its regular session 30 April but no official date has been set for the new session.

Since taking office in December 2000, Fox has repeatedly expressed interest in increasing private investment in Mexico’s petrochemical sector.

At present, foreign participation in petrochemicals is limited to 49% - an amount industry observers have blamed for years of decline within the sector. Fox would like to see that limit increased, as well as adoption of a new labour law removing petrochemical workers from the union controlled by state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

But opposition lawmakers have promised to fight any attempt to amend Mexico’s constitution to allow greater private capital in energy sectors, instead pushing for a plan that would give state-owned energy companies greater independence and more funds.


Author: Stevenson Jacobs



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