· The aim is to pay off a historical debt with a project for the future. Mexicans are one people; there cannot be two Mexicos, opportunities for development, prosperity and welfare must be accessible to all Mexicans, regardless of the region where they live, he declared.

· They must be places where Mexican families want to live, where there is education, health, entertainment, and of course safety: Luis Videgaray Caso.

· The Law is an important initiative for 21st Century Mexico; It is the cornerstone of an economic transformation for the Mexico we all want: Juan Pablo Castañón.

President Enrique Peña Nieto today enacted the Federal Law on Special Economic Zones, a powerful initiative designed to reverse centuries of backwardness, whose medium and long term goal is to “Trigger the productivity of the country’s southern region, in other words, to establish the structural conditions that will allow us to create more wealth and opportunities for regional development.”

He explained that Special Economic Zones, “Are geographic areas with a high productive potential, offering an exceptional business environment to attract investment and create quality jobs on the basis of incentives, facilities and infrastructure development.” He noted that in Mexico, “They will undoubtedly constitute a milestone in public policies for alleviating poverty and inequality.”

He recalled that the SEZs will be Port Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacán and Guerrero; the corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, including the development poles of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Salina Cruz, Oaxaca; Puerto Chiapas in Chiapas; and the oil corridor in the states of Tabasco and Campeche.

“Special Economic Zones mean sowing today in order to reap tomorrow. Today we are sowing a seed of hope for families in the south of the country,” he said.

· The aim is to pay off a historical debt with a project for the future Mexicans are one people; there cannot be two Mexicos, opportunities for development, prosperity and welfare must be accessible to all Mexicans, regardless of the region where they live,” he declared.

The president explained that the actions considered within the framework of this law have very specific time frames: “By 2018 at the latest, when this Administration is nearing completion, there will be at least one anchor company in each of the Special Economic Zones.”

He admitted that Mexico remains a country of contrasts. “In our country, prosperity and marginalization, progress and backwardness coexist. There is a Mexico that competes and wins in the global economy, with growing levels of income, development and welfare, but there is also a Mexico that has been left behind, which has been unable to exploit its productive potential and suffers social deprivation which is unacceptable in the 21st century.”

President Peña Nieto thanked federal lawmakers for their commitment to the passage of the Special Economic Zones Law. He said that, “The bill I submitted to Congress was undoubtedly enriched during the legislative process" and mentioned some of its key contributions:

· It establishes closer monitoring by Congress, since the Legislative branch will now analyze reports on the Zones and the impact on their respective areas of influence on an annual basis. It will also be in a position to make additional recommendations to be followed to promote development in the Special Economic Zones.

· It empowers the Superior Audit Office to audit the public resources to be spent on the Zones; and CONEVAL to evaluate social actions.

· It consolidated the Coordination Agreements and Development Programs as guiding instruments and

It strengthened the Single Window scheme for all government procedures.

The president announced eight specific measures to be implemented by government agencies in the following months:

FIRST: He instructed the Finance and Public Credit Secretariat (SHCP) and the Legal Counsel of the Federal Government to issue a decree creating a decentralized body of the Finance Secretariat dedicated to establish Special Economic Zones, within one month.. This body will have regulation, planning and promotion functions in accordance with best international practices.

SECOND: “He also instructed these same agencies to complete the secondary regulation of the Federal Law on Special Economic Zones in June.”

THIRD: “The new decentralized SHCP organization must work to ensure that decrees are issued to create the first Special Economic Zones by year end at the latest. These areas are Port Lázaro Cárdenas, including neighboring municipalities of Michoacan and Guerrero; the corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and development poles such as Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, and Salina Cruz in Oaxaca; and Puerto Chiapas, which would be the third economic zone. Moreover, in 2017, the Special Economic Zone decree must be issue for the of oil corridor in Tabasco-Campeche, announced a few weeks ago.”

FOURTH:  “I instruct the Finance Secretariat to ensure that the tax incentives and facilities scheme for each zone have a high impact and are attractive compared to other areas of the world, in order to trigger investments and achieve what we are seeking: investment and job creation in the most backward region in the country.”

FIFTH: “During the first quarter of 2017, the decentralized agency of the Finance Secretariat must achieve coordination agreements with state and municipal governments.”

SIXTH: “I also instruct all the agencies responsible for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure to hasten the completion of the priority projects required by the areas and their respective funding mechanisms, whether they use the National Infrastructure Fund, public-private partnerships or exclusively private investment.”

SEVENTH: “The decentralized Finance Secretariat must design development programs in the areas of influence so that they are approved and published during the first half of next year at the latest.”

EIGHTH: "This same agency shall also, before the end of the first half of next year, select the administrators for each area using strict criteria of transparency and accountability.”

The president noted that the Special Economic Zones model, “Will permit this combination of efforts and represents a substantive response to enable the south-southeast to accelerate its pace of growth.”

The government declared that, “It is determined to change this story of inequality and backwardness.”

A SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE IS A PERIMETER, a geographical region where, AS A RESULT OF A STATE POLICY DECISION, DIFFERENT CONDITIONS WILL BE ESTABLISHED FOR ITS DEVELOPMENT: LUIS VIDEGARAY

Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Luis Videgaray Caso declared that the south of the country has lacked jobs, growth and economic development opportunities. Consequently, he declared, since the start of his administration, the president instructed, “New ideas to be created. In particular, he called for the exploration of a possibility that had never been tried in Mexico, namely the establishment of Special Economic Zones”  in this region.

”A Special Economic Zone, as its name suggests, is a perimeter, a geographical region where different conditions are established, in other words, special conditions for its development, through state policy,” he explained.

He noted that what makes a Special Economic Zone successful is its integrality, “In other words, not only a specific aspect, the existence of incentives or the existence of infrastructure, but the integrality of the concept. Integrality comprises three fundamental pillars: incentives, infrastructure and community.”

He said that the law passed today by the president, “Proposes a legal framework to ensure that these three pillars are developed in harmony.” He added that for the first time ever, it gives the president the power to provide tax incentives, facilities for foreign trade and facilities for procedures, “Through a single window and a series of incentives that are powerful and effective in attracting investment.”

“Special Economic Zones must be places where Mexican families want to live, where there is education, health, entertainment and, of course, safety. This is what the legal framework passed today by the president involves,” he said.

He said that in order for this legal framework to be successful, there are two key elements that must always be present: continuity, since this is not a short-term effort; and public-private partnerships.  “It is essential that for the private sector to participate actively from the outset,” he declared.

THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO SETTLE THE HISTORIC DEBT WITH THE COUNTRY’S  MOST BACKWARD STATES: GOVERNOR GABINO CUÉ

 

Governor of the State of Oaxaca and President of the National Conference of Governors (CONAGO), Gabino Cué Monteagudo welcomed the enactment of the Special Economic Zones Law, because it means a new stage in the process of national development that is consolidating Mexico, “Through the path of balanced, sustained economic growth,” while reducing the inequality gaps that prevail among the country's regions.

He declared that the Special Economic Zones are a valuable legal instrument that will make it possible to pay off the historic debt to the country’s most backward states.  “This is a key initiative by President Enrique Peña Nieto, supported and enriched by Congress, which will allow us to promote projects with regional impact to help improve connectivity between the states and the rest of country as well as with major international markets.”

The governor of Oaxaca said that among other benefits, this law will provide an exceptional environment for attracting investment and creating quality jobs,  to reduce the poverty and marginalization levels in the states in the southeast.

“In the National Conference of Governors, we are absolutely certain that the Federal Law on Special Economic Zones will be a tool for the unity, growth and social development our country demands,” he said.

SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES WILL CREATE COMPETITIVE, PROSPEROUS REGIONS: GOVERNOR SILVANO AUREOLES

Silvano Aureoles Conejo, Governor of the State of Michoacán, thanked the federal government for supporting the state with strong actions that have allowed the company “to get back on the track of governance and stability.”

The governor thanked President Peña Nieto for taking key decisions the nation, such as promoting the reforms, “That have provided order and sustainability for the country and put it on the path of transformation and modernization that the times require.”

He said that the passage of the Federal Law on Special Economic Zones will exploit the strategic advantages of these areas of the country to transform them into prosperous, competitive regions for the benefit of the population, in addition to creating conditions of inclusion and development for the entire population that will substantially improve their quality of life.

He said that Special Economic Zones are projects of great magnitude and importance for alleviating inequality and inequity, and reiterated his commitment to accompanying the initiative to provide these states and the country with stability, growth, development and social justice.

THE SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY COULD BE THE MOST DYNAMIC INDUSTRIAL AND SERVICE PLATFORM ON THE CONTINENT: Business Coordinating Council

For his part, President of the Business Coordinating Council Juan Pablo Castañón Castañón, said that the Federal Law on Special Economic Zones can and should be the spearhead to attract growing investment flows, with new economic growth poles that will help transform regional and national reality.

This bet, he added, “Has a firm foundation: we are aware of the economic potential of the south and other backward areas. Its comparative advantages include the capacity of its people.” He said that they offer ideal logistic conditions for global trade, “Together with our network of international treaties, the dynamism of our external sector and the infrastructure we already have and can and must construct.”

After explaining the nine strategic axes, he said that the south could be the most dynamic industrial and service platform on the continent once its backward zones are developed.

“This is a crucial initiative for 21st century Mexico. It is a cornerstone of the economic transformation we all want for Mexico, "he said, and reiterated the commitment of entrpreneurs and their interest, “In the important development project that will be undertaken as a result of the Special Economic Zones Law” and highlighted the fact that they will be partners in the program.