Mexico Bent on Structural Reforms Despite Oil Price Fall

“Low oil prices will not prevent, will not limit, will not stop energy reform,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto told participants at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. The oil and gas sector, previously dominated by state-owned Pemex, will continue to be opened to domestic and foreign investors.

In December 2015, 51 companies qualified to bid for 25 onshore fields, “over and beyond the expectations we had,” said Peña Nieto. The bidding process for deepwater assets is on track to start towards the second semester of 2016. “The data room is already open to interested companies,” he said.

The structural reform of telecom and financial services will also continue as part of the country’s “armouring” against the volatile global economy, said Peña Nieto. The effort is showing results. The domestic credit to GDP ratio has increased to 32% from 25%. By the time his term as president ends in 2018, Peña Nieto hopes the ratio will be closer to 40%.

Asked whether Mexico will extradite the notorious drug lord “El Chapo” Guzman, who had escaped twice from a high-security prison but was recently recaptured, Peña Nieto said that Mexico is “working on extradition.” The Mexican Attorney General is speeding up the process so “we can extradite this criminal as soon as possible,” said Peña Nieto. Guzman is wanted in the United States and other countries.