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Mexico's new president promises investors safe environment

Mexico's new president promises investors safe environment

President Felipe Calderon assured investors Monday his administration would work to provide a safe business climate, battling crime and corruption while improving the nation's infrastructure.
Calderon spoke to a group of Spanish executive three days after his inauguration was marred by protests from supporters of the leftist candidate he defeated in July's presidential election, former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Mexico's image has recently been tarnished by the ongoing political conflict and drug violence that is plaguing a number of states.
"Be assured that my government is working hard to win the war against crime; to ensure that people's rights and property and investment rights are respected; to fight without rest in the struggle against corruption," Calderon said at the opening of a Spain-Mexico investment forum.
Javier Gomez Navarra, president of the Council of Spanish Chambers of Commerce, told Calderon that Spanish investors hoped "the normalcy that is indispensable for good government operations will return" to Mexico.
Spanish Crown Prince Felipe, who attended Calderon's inauguration, was also on hand at the meeting.
Mexico is Spain's chief Latin American trading partner, and Spain is Mexico's largest European trading partner.
Calderon, of the conservative, pro-business National Action Party, said he would promote investment in infrastructure projects including airports, highways, bridges, and dams, as well as petrochemical plants.
He also promised to convert the country's tourism industry into a major force against poverty, which still affects nearly half of the country's 107 million people.
Also Monday, the Treasury Department named three newly appointed deputy finance secretaries who will report to Finance Secretary Agustin Carstens.
Alejandro Werner, who was chief economist at the department, replaces Alonso Garcia Tames as deputy secretary. Ernesto Cordero, who was coordinator for public policy in Calderon's transition team, was named deputy secretary in charge of spending, and former antitrust regulator Fernando Sanchez Ugarte was named deputy secretary in charge of income. Gerardo Rodriguez remains as head of public credit.
On Sunday, Calderon issued a government austerity decree that included lowering by 10 percent his own salary and that of top government officials _ co-opting one of the proposals of Lopez Obrador, who said he would cut the salaries in half.
During a news conference to announce the budget proposals of his "parallel government" on Monday, Lopez Obrador called Calderon's offer a "farse," saying he would still earn three times more than the president of Chile and twice as much as the prime minister of Spain.
Calderon's salary has still not been announced, but Fox received a salary of about US$245,000 (euro184,000) this year. Even after a 10 percent cut, Calderon would earn US$220,500 (euro166,000).
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet will have made US$72,000 (euro54,000) in 2006, while Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will have made US$117,000 (euro87,900). U.S. President George W. Bush makes US$400,000 (euro300,550) annually.


Updated : 2021-10-16 07:43 GMT+08:00