Builders "excited" to invest in public works of López Obrador

Builders "excited" to invest in public works of López Obrador

The Mexican builders are "excited" about the public works projects of the future president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who plans to increase investment in infrastructure such as the ambitious Maya Train project.

"We believe that the incoming government has very clear the strategy of investing in infrastructure because it will generate growth, development and productivity," said today in an interview with Efe the national president of the Mexican Chamber of Construction Industry (CMIC), Eduardo Ramírez.

According to data from the agency, formed by 12,000 members and created 65 years ago, construction contributes about 9% of gross domestic product (GDP), generating six million direct jobs and 2.8 million indirect jobs.

However, he pointed out that an "important obstacle" that the union has suffered in recent years is the decrease in public investment in infrastructure, going from 5% in relation to GDP in 2008 to 2.3% in 2018, up to an amount of approximately 628,000 million pesos (about 31,000 million dollars).

For Ramírez, the drop in public investment - attributable to several austerity programs to clean up public accounts - is an error, because the sector activates the productive chain and generates employment.

Therefore, the construction industry fell by 1.5% in 2017, although this year the trend will reverse and will grow in a similar way supported by private investment, which represents about 75% of the total, he said.

This scenario could change substantially with the arrival of López Obrador to power this December 1, which has promised an increase of up to 4% in relation to GDP in public works, said the head of the CMIC.

"We are excited about this news because there are interesting projects for several places in our country," he said.

He positively valued projects such as the Mayan Train that involves five states in the south-southeast of Mexico, the most backward of the country, the construction of a refinery or the connection by train of two ports, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic.

"The builders of all levels, our members, are very interested in participating," said Ramírez, who supported the fight against corruption and improve the security announced by López Obrador, leader of the National Regeneration Movement (Brunette).

However, he was critical of decisions, after a controversial citizen consultation, such as the cancellation of the Texcoco airport, a work of 13.3 billion dollars with about 35% progress.

"The problem is that it became a technical issue in something political, we, the industrialists, wanted this to not happen again," he added.

In this regard, supported other possible plebiscites to be "an interesting vision" but asked to comply "with legality" and reach all corners of the country.

All in all, he defended the work of the future president of Mexico, stressing that governing "is not easy", but that he will have to make "strong" and "adequate" decisions that will detonate the country's growth.

"The entrepreneurs are attentive because we want to participate in the development of any type of work, always within the framework of the law and complying with the rule of law," said the head of the CMIC.

The camera has already established contacts with various agencies of the next federal government, such as the Communications and Transportation Secretariat, which will be headed by Javier Jiménez Espriú.

In addition, they will seek to promote the creation of a Long Term Infrastructure Planning Institute that has autonomy and duration over time and allows planning infrastructure works necessary for the country for the coming decades.

"Without occurrences" and "within the legal framework," he concluded.


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