Mexico announced recently that it will continue to invest heavily in the country's infrastructure,specifically by continuing to build and repair highways. In fact,according to a report in the Wall Street Journal,Mexico's congress could add to the already near-record breaking budget in an effort to meet a goal of reaching 22,000 kilometers of new or repaired roadways in 2012.
An official from the communications and transport ministry said the planned projects will not suffer from Mexico's weaker peso since both the materials and the manpower are locally sourced,keeping the country's 2012 budget for highway infrastructure hovering at or above the historic benchmark throughout the coming year.
According to the report,Fausto Barajas Cumming,who is the ministry's deputy minister for infrastructure,the 2012 highway budget is close to $4.08 billion after adding a number of rural roads to the plan. In addition,private companies are expected to spend another MXN15 billion in 2011 to build federal highways and congress is still debating another bill that would encourage the growth of such public-private partnerships in the coming years.
When asked about financing,Barajas was clear that he does not expect to have a problem funding the planned projects,stating that the ministry expects to begin receiving bids in November and plans to make some decisions no later than December of 2011.
“We don't have problems in terms of the peso because,practically,the construction of highways is with Mexican labor and Mexican products,” said Barajas. “We have not observed a lack of appetite among investors and we don't see that affecting what is coming up next.”
As of July 2011,more than 16,000 kilometers of roads had already been built under president Felipe Calderon's administration,which is on track to hit its goal of 22,000 by the end of his term.