The second presidential debate revolved around external commerce and investment, border control and the fight against transnational crime and migrant rights. While the energy industry was not explicitly discussed on Sunday night, it is safe to say that some of the comments of the presidential candidates, especially those related to external commerce and investment, could have repercussions in the sector.
The Energy Reform has brought abundant opportunities to private players, both national and international, to create profitable businesses in Mexico. PRODESEN foresees a total investment of MX$2 trillion will be needed in the country. The candidates did not discuss specific actions on how to foster investment in the energy industry, but all of their speeches revolved around the importance of improving relations with the US and other countries, particularly in the Americas. In this area, José Antonio Meade mentioned the importance of securing more investment for the southern region of the country. “We have to invest more in the south, we have to build pipelines, storage terminals, better highways and ports, do our homework for the investment to help in those areas,” Meade said. Andrés Manuel López Obrador showed himself more open toward foreign investment and inclusion by supporting NAFTA and calling for stronger relations with the US. Jaime Rodríguez, meanwhile, called for a broader economic vision for Mexican commerce by proposing to diversify exports to other regions such as Asia and South America. He also proposed including the energy industry in the NAFTA renegotiations, although this is already being done.
Another recurrent theme of the debate was the minimum wage, with Ricardo Anaya proposing an increase to MX$100 per day, López Obrador to triple it and Rodríguez to push it up to MX$355. Any such increases would have both short-term indirect implications for the economics of energy infrastructure projects, and for the long term related to the attractiveness of the country as a strong investment destination for the manufacturing industry.
The third and final debate, to be held in Merida on June 12, will focus economic growth, poverty and inequality, education, science and technology, sustainable development and climate change.
For a sneak-peak on the presidential candidates’ proposals in terms of energy industry, sustainability and climate change do not miss our blog covering the discussion of the presidential candidates’ advisers for environment, energy and sustainability that took place on May 15 at ITAM as well as the presentation of an evaluation, on May 16, of the candidates’ proposals in terms of climate change developed by 11 international organizations.
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For more articles on Mexico’s energy industry, check out our blog!