Mexico's Presidential Candidates Back Private Sector Investments

Three of Mexico's five presidential candidates have proposed increasing private investments in the energy sector and allowing the creation of private firms to compete with state-owned energy companies, local press reported.

Mexico's President Vicente Fox has proposed during his administration various legislative reforms to allow private investment in the energy sector, including some constitutional changes, but congress has not passed the main reforms that would open up the sector.

The governing PAN party's candidate Felipe Calderón told local businessmen in San Luis Potosí state on Saturday he would allow private investments in the energy sector if he becomes president, while the Alternativa party candidate Patricia Mercado also proposed opening the energy sector to private capital, local press reported.

Mexico's economic development requires both public and private investments in the energy sector, but that does not necessarily mean privatization, papers quoted Mercado as saying.

On Friday, the opposition PRI party's candidate Roberto Madrazo proposed increasing private investments in electric power co-generation projects, local press reported.

The presidential hopefuls did not detail their plans for attracting private investments in the energy sector, but all of them rejected proposals to privatize state owned oil and electric power companies Pemex and CFE.

The leftist PRD and Nueva Alianza parties candidates Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Roberto Campa have not yet presented their proposals for the energy sector.

At present Mexico's legislation only allows private investment in the energy sector through state-run public financed investment and debt schemes. Elections are scheduled for July 2.

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