Mexico’s incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto visited the White House this week,meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss immigration reform,drug control policies and the possible opening of Mexico’s energy sector to foreign investment.
“Mr. Obama pledged closer economic ties and hailed the ‘incredible contribution that Mexican-Americans make to our economy,our society and to our politics,’” writes the Wall Street Journal.
Peña Nieto is reportedly determined to focus the U.S. president on the opportunity for economic growth between the United States and Mexico,as economic ties have deepened between the two countries due to the 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In fact,the 40 percent increase in Mexico’s GDP since NAFTA’s inception has helped to grow the nation’s middle class and consumer market.
According to ABC News,the two leaders met for about an hour and discussed everything from economic development,trade and immigration to common security challenges. In addition,Peña Nieto and Obama worked to establish a connection that could define the nature of their relationship throughout the U.S. president’s second term.
“We already have the economic platform to unleash growth,” Bank of Mexico Governor Agustin Carstens told the Wall Street Journal. “Now,the real challenge for the new administration is to establish the correct sequence to send to Congress the necessary reforms to attract investments.”
Peña Nieto also visited Canada this week and is expected to continue his message of reforms that will “modernize trade deals,speed up or add new crossings at the border for commerce,court foreign investment to take advantage of vast,newly discovered shale gas fields near the United States border to generate more quality jobs,” reported the New York Times.
Queretaro,for example,has emerged as an industrial powerhouse and at more than one million people,it is also one of the safest cities in Mexico. A wide range of appliances,auto parts and aerospace components are manufactured here,attracting more than $1 billion in investments from companies like Bombardier in recent months.
Mexico’s new leader will take office Saturday,Dec. 1.