Mexico City, Mexico — Three new economic zones have been created that country officials predict will generate thousands of jobs and millions in investments.
Last week, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed Declaratory Decrees for the Special Economic Zones of Puerto Chiapas, Chiapas, Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz and Lázaro Cárdenas-La Unión, in the states of Michoacán and Guerrero, and inaugurated the South-Southeast Chiapas Agropark.
He referred to the signing as a “great milestone” for the southern region of the country. The new ecomonic areas are all located in the southeastern portion of the country.
He explained that while central, western and northern Mexico are job-creating areas, the south has steadily fallen behind for decades adding the task at hand is not an “easy or fast” one, and its results will not be seen during his administration.
“We’re sowing seeds in fertile ground where an economic model is most needed,”he said.
Peña Nieto said the zones, which have been modeled on similar initiatives in other parts of the world, were designed to encourage the development of the poorest areas of the country and allow them to catch up to other regions.
The three zones are forecast to create 12,000 new jobs and $5.3 billion USD in private-sector investments over the next three years.
The president says the goal behind the plan is to eliminate welfare policies that mitigate poverty and instead, shift the focus to productive investment, capital formation and education.
”We want to go beyond welfare policy, which, in social policy, only seeks to provide economic support, which sometimes only alleviates or mitigates the condition of poverty, but does not solve it fully,” he said.
”We will not allow the history of the south-southeast to be marked by poverty, marginalization or inequality.
Gerardo Gutiérrez Candiani , head of the agency responsible for the zones going said interest is high, confirming he has nearly 200 companies that have expressed interest in considering investments with another 35 that have expressed “advanced interest”.