Friday, September 6, 2013

Peña Nieto picks up some cash in St. Petersburg

"Can you believe it? - I just got $500 million outta this guy!"

Guadalajara -
President Enrique Peña Nieto is returning to Mexico City at this hour, after a whirlwind trip to Russia where he attended the G-20 Summit.

Many problems await him at home, but at least he's not coming back empty handed. Peña Nieto got his personal chit chat with president Obama, who promised to look into that little matter about Peña Nieto's e-mail account. "That disturbs me," assured Obama. Then the Mexican president returned the favor by saying of the simmering Syrian crisis, "We condemn the use of chemical weapons, and we respect the right of every nation to respond as it deems appropriate." There's nothing like bilateral cooperation in times of trouble, especially between two old friends. Maybe the U.N. Security Council and most of the world is opposed to Obama's plan to launch missiles against the Damascus regime, but America can always count on its loyal ally Mexico.

And then there's the money, which is invariably a good subject for press releases.

Peña Nieto and Chinese president Xi Jinping had their own tête-à-tête in St. Petersburg, and when they exited the meeting a beaming Peña Nieto proudly announced that the Peoples' Republic Export Bank had agreed to extend a $500 million line of credit to Mexico's Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior. The bank is a 75 year old export credit agency which extends financing to small and medium size exporters of Mexican goods. That's $500 million U.S. dollars, by the way, not pesos or yuan.

The loan will enable Mexico to sell more agricultural produce to China, especially pork and 100% agave tequila, which is of increasing popularity in Asia. Almost all tequila is produced in Jalisco.

Expansion of commercial credit is a mainstay of president Peña Nieto's economic agenda. In June he announced his government would pump $77 billion dollars into Mexico's Development Bank, to assist fledgling domestic enterprises. As peso continues its slide, EPN puts a trillion of them on the table.

In St. Petersburg the two nations also announced the opening of the China-Mexico Commercial Affairs Office in Bejing. A memorandum of understanding was signed by officials of the Chinese National Development Commission and Mexico's Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, to promote foreign capital investment. The Hacienda is Mexico's internal revenue and federal budget planning agency. Its secretary is Luis Videgaray, and he is rather gloomy these days about the nation's faltering economy.

Xi Jinping invited Peña Nieto to visit China next year, and the Mexican president says he intends to.

Aug. 31 - Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Mexico in huge economic hole; looming "risk of recession"
July 10 - Peña Nieto: American espionage "totally unacceptable"
June 6 - How do you say "Xi Jinping" in Spanish?

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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