On Monday, I have the pleasure of
returning to the United States of America to renew the commitment of the
Mexican government to achieve two shared goals: to turn North America into the
most competitive region in the world and to make our common border an area of
prosperity for both nations.
This visit to Texas has a major
significance. In addition to being one of the largest economies in the United
States, Texas is our main trading partner in the U.S. Only in 2014, our
economic exchanges exceeded $192 billion and have been a source of
employment for more than 400,000 people in Texas. We aim to develop more
infrastructure projects on our border, such as the new rail crossing connecting
Brownsville with Matamoros — first of its kind built by both countries in
100 years — and the newly inaugurated Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry and
International Bridge, in order to increase the dynamism of our relationship.
With these projects, we are strengthening our regional value chains and
generating welfare on both sides of the border.
An efficient energy industry, open to
investment and globally competitive, has a key role in increasing the
competitiveness of Mexico and North America. In this sense, the energy reform
that my country is implementing establishes a new paradigm which —
maintaining state ownership of sub-soil hydrocarbon resources and its
profits — allows the private sector participation across the entire
hydrocarbons value chain and across practically the entire electrical sector.
Thus, Mexico is making a transition from two state monopolies to open and
competitive energy markets in favor of consumers.
This new legal and institutional
framework also provides full transparency and legal certainty for investment.
On the one hand, it laid the foundation for the launching of the Wholesale
Electricity Market which — from January 2016 — allows private
companies to compete on a level playing field in the generation and sale of
electricity. It is estimated that it will attract more than $127 billion in
investment over the next 15 years to increase to 60 gigawatts our power
generation capacity and to expand our transmission network by 25,000
kilometers. With these resources, we will strengthen the cross-border
electricity infrastructure shared by the United States and Mexico to encourage
an efficient and mutually beneficial exchange of electricity between the two
In the hydrocarbons sector, this
structural reform has already made possible the incorporation of 30 new
companies – from seven countries — in the areas of exploration and extraction,
giving rise to a new oil industry in Mexico. In addition, by 2019, the national
natural gas pipeline network will increase from 11,000 to 21,000 kilometers,
through an estimated investment of $16 billion. This is particularly important
for the energy integration of Texas and Mexico, as this state supplies 75
percent of Mexican natural gas imports. In this area, it is worth highlighting
the beginning of operations of Los Ramones gas pipeline, which connects Agua
Dulce in South Texas with the Bajio region in central Mexico. We also made
progress in the development of four pipelines that will connect Texas to some
northern states of Mexico.
The United States and Mexico are
highly complementary economies. The current context of economic uncertainty and
financial volatility calls for further integration rather than isolation. The
ongoing dialogue and mutual understanding are our best tools to turn North
America into the most competitive region in the world. Through openness and
collaboration, our economies will achieve the shared prosperity that we have
set ourselves and that our societies deserve.
Published in The Houston Chronicle