US Ambassador to Mexico Leads Meeting in Oaxaca to Advance the Interoceanic Corridor Megaproject

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On Tuesday, September 20, the sixth meeting of governors from the south and southeast of Mexico took place in Oaxaca. It was led by the US Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, together with representatives from the economic sector, such as Visa, Amazon, Facebook, AT&T, META, Google, Mercado Libre, FEMSA, and Oxxo.

According to the US Ambassador, the objective of these meetings has been to tackle economic opportunities for “development” in the region.

“Our federal governments, in association with regional leaders from the private sector, have organized five meetings together (this current one being the sixth) with governors from the southern states of Mexico to promote public-private cooperation and investment opportunities, economic development, and environmental and climatic objectives,” said Salazar.

According to the host of the event, the governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat, of all the projects in course in the region, the most important is the Interoceanic Corridor in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

“We are here to continue constructing, with the help of our partners in the United States, the framework to consolidate projects of global impact that will propel trade and energy,” Murat said, who thanked the US for its support in “triggering development of the south-southeast by means of” the Interoceanic Corridor project.

The governor emphasized that the historical relationship with the United States is close and “it should be even closer now that these new times require teamwork, in order to move forward on common agenda issues like trade, investment, and migration. We are ready to continue teaming with the United States.”

Murat sent a message to investors, some of whom like Amazon have already presented an investment plan, that their business investments will be safe. “We are going to insure the security, through the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), for any investment from your companies before irregular situations like war, or commercial issues…Here you will also have the possibility to produce any product, move it to Asia, Europe, and of course, to the United States and Canada.”

Security was also mentioned by Salazar and was a recurring theme in the meeting. There is a necessity to “unite forces to face the shared challenge of security, because with security there is prosperity.”

“Historic Results”

In a statement, Salazar sustained that in each meeting “we have had historic results.” In this last meeting, Amazon announced the generation of 900 employees in the southeast, that will facilitate the connection of the region with the United States and Canada though technologies and digitalization.

For their part, META announced a program of “training thousands of people to take advantage of the opportunities that arise from our integration through a well-prepared work force that can construct a better future.”

New Governor

Salomón Jara Cruz, the governor elect of Oaxaca, was also present in the meeting and assured that he would continue with the politics and work that Murat has been carrying out. “We will work so that our state is the motor of national development and of the southern part of the country,” Cruz said who reaffirmed his project to industrialize Oaxaca.

“In Oaxaca, our economy isn’t based on industry, we are more commercial, more service-oriented. This project (the Interoceanic Corridor) is a strategic project for the south-southeast, even for Central America,” he shared.

In addition to the connection between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by train, the Interoceanic Corridor includes the construction of ten special economic zones of at least 300 hectares and that will provide tax and regulatory benefits.

Other Topics

Among the topics of discussion was the “migratory crisis and how it affects Oaxaca and the region,” with the objective of organizing, according to a statement from the government, “strategies of strengthening the rule of law, as well as social and economic development that allows for the reduction of the negative impacts of this phenomenon.”

One of the panels at the meeting was named, “Show Me the Money: International and U.S. Financing Options,” in which financial organizations like the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank, explained their priority sectors and criteria for providing finance.

Present at the meeting were the governors of Chiapas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, as well as the President of the Association of Banks of Mexico, Daniel Becker, and the Director of the Investment Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Miguel Siliceo Valdespino.

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