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tv   Mexicos Finance Minister Speaks at the Inter- American Dialogue  CSPAN  April 12, 2019 8:20pm-9:09pm EDT

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taking office in december as part of the administration
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elected last year this is 45 minutes. >> good morning we will get started if you can take your seats. good morning. thank you for joining us for this special event with mexican and secretary of finance, we are honored to have you here. we are also delighted to partner this event with the wilson center and i want to give a special thanks to my colleague to help organize this special session. secretary has an impressive and distinguished academic career as a professor to call on him to assume this critical
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post managing economic policy. into previously work when he was there in the city of mexico and under his direction earned a great reputation for fiscal discipline. secretary has been a consultant to the united nations and the private sector with a phd in economics and the university of wisconsin. the secretary agreed to talk about the economic agenda and priorities of the administration to put forward a bold agenda to reduce poverty while reducing economic growth and attracting investment. it's not an easy challenge but it is critical to the success of this government trying to
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pursue a different approach of other mexican administrations we look forward to his remarks to be followed by an exchange with all of you. thank you for coming and i will turn it over to the secretary. >> when i speak of mexico i used to think there were two mexico's now i think there are three because the other side with the northernmost with the regional growth rates.
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and those rates for many years ago were very low from that north central region and the states surround that that they enjoyed very high growth rates. so in the case of the south from the last 15 years was up 23 percent in 15 years it has been twice as much nearly 6 percent and and then even twice as much the 68 or
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67 percent but i even enjoy those growth rates. so what we have is a very homogenous country and take care of that and also with economic growth and when you review most of the programs you will see that emphasis so that is the very first thing
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and second and let's the less but there are many reasons for that and the reason is the lack of investment in mexico. with the most public and private of 23 percent. if you want to grow at least it has to be between 25 percent of gdp. and the private sector and through the private sector it would have been okay to be
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more than 20 percent of gdp but the reason is simply because you know whenever you are in trouble the very first thing you do is investment and that is what has been done with very bad consequences for doing that so with that public investment so there was a study with the public affairs three or four years ago that had the multiplier effect and for many countries. and depending on which ones
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with that multiplier effect and the reason is not the magnitude but to have too much but it is the efficiency that we will give you an example of low public investment because there are many people that there was supposed to be a train going from south of mexico to mexico city. it was supposed to be an iconic project because the president was born in that
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area and to go coast-to-coast would be 29 million pesos they ended up spending up twice as much nearly 60 million and now we have to spend another 25 million to have it finished up. [laughter] so now i don't know who designed it or the which way it was going to go to mexico city but those consequences that i think were very stupid but now we have to spend more money.
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's what we would do is increase public investment but we don't have a lot of money. we have to be very careful with that. but to have a well targeted approach with a lot of efficiency. and in particular having private investment in mexico that we can enjoy more productivity. interest that is very important.
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most of those we are hoping that would have foreign investment content and one example is meant to connect the ports and then going through the narrowest part and there is a trade now we have to modernize. and we are taking care of the
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ups and downs of the trains because they need to go faster. and there are also pipelines. we have everything over there. we have to modernize i don't know what but it doesn't have enough so in that case because we already have that infrastructure we would like
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to partner with logistics a good firm who knows trains and ports and can do the logistic part of that job. and then we will have that process and of course there could be some security reasons. so perhaps we would be in worse shape but politically we can do that in the case of countries if we have a free
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trade agreement. but anyway to be closer to the heart of the president which creates more than 15000 and that goes through six different states and in that case it is a more ambitious project because we have the infrastructure we have some but not all. we are planning in seven parts to have public-private associations and again all the
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winners coming from mexico and so on and so forth so we'd be very interested to a track more and more from mexico. but the oil sector because they all talk about the area but and we can share it with anyone that means she is doing a very good job and so i will
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stop here and then i can take questions. >> thank you mister secretary for those remarks. so i will just ask the first question there is a lot of uncertainty about usmca and what will happen with that. so can you comment on the uncertainty of the ratification of that treaty and how that affects obviously it would be disastrous for us
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or to have a new version of that. and my worst nightmare is that president trump decides to say to congress and then says regardless in six months the us will do that and they can do that. some people say that is almost impossible that he could try to push by simply saying we will cut this. and one month later we would be in trouble. but i think it is a nightmare.
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we don't think so as well but the other is that we are taking care of the most sensitive for the issue for the un not canada but the labor standards and the lack of democracies that is very important for the us workers and we try to pass a law this month for labor reform and we
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are hoping to provide a different justice system and we increase minimum wage at 16 percent more. and it is three.9 percent. and then to have a particular economic program coming down from 30 percent to 20 percent
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but as far as we know none of them has had any impact but also with the case of the border recently we have already received a new contract and that to increase those minimum wages for the workers. so we have that decision because we believed it was
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from all points of view so even compared to others that is something the us especially so we are optimistic and hopefully they will not signs be mac thank you. please identify yourself. >> we were talking about usmca. but my question is a lot of
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the success of the program is cemented on the fact to have higher economic growth but the first is almost half of what we expected for this upcoming year. so what do you expect to happen as a turnaround in growth and what is your perspective moving forward? what will make that turn around quick. >> and with that economic growth is slowing down especially with europeans. we are still thinking we change from at two.2 percent because we wanted to
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be in line with the central bank forecast. we are very respectful of the central bank. and that more or less but we believe the focus on the south of mexico will help because we are demanding investment and we believe that can be important like a keynesian argument we are providing much
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more money transfers than before. so we believe we can do it. especially with the announcement of the projects like the ones that i just talked about and many others and already there has been some success with some projects that if you hear them then you will think that would not work. it works very well. they are supposed to connect those communities in our states and the government is a
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community so what the community is doing is to transfer money to those communities and really nice roads and they are doing very well in a labor-intensive way. so we believe the difference and the composition will help us a little bit. >>.
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>> i am from the xm bank you mention the oil sector. my question is not just creditors but the administration has made an announcement to provide financial support which would provide an 18 month relief so my question is what other plans for the future of what could be expected? so in terms of a new refiner refinery, how will that be financed that there is already six refineries operating under 35 percent capacity before answering that question i will remind you i have copies of
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this and you will be amazed by some of the other latest results. but the production at first was like this. now we have stopped that train and it is going up a little bit. you will see and 2016 and 2018 there were new fuels and in 2019 there were some new oilfields.
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not the sea that the land and it has reserves but also the oil is light work and we don't need refineries anymore. so i think the new future is quite bright. the story i like the most is this. do you see it? that is fuel theft. and the one in november with
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81000 barrels a day. and second it has a new flow of the order on those pesos more or less. there are interesting things happening and i say this because to help in a mindless way would not work but it is
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very simple actually. they have been overtaxed for many years. and so one thing you could do is try to reduce the over taxation and we are doing that. you cannot reduce them by half because we would be in trouble but we are trying to reduce the tax and duty charges but also even over the last few
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years at this point from january february and march they have already issued debt and at this point they have not. this is the debt issue. 2000 through 2019 and to reduce the cost and by fighting theft. that they will have to refinance about six.$4 billion
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in but then for those reasons countercyclical but then you know that we are doing this
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with 300 billion pesos but what to do and that is what we are doing. and later on there are people that believe we should assume the government to make it sovereign. but people don't like that. but we are aware in the short term we will need some help. >> i wanted to ask you and your recently published budget
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, you have forecast one.9 million barrels per day. that could you explain how we get to that amount with those programmable expenditures to be down quick so it seems to me you need to invest a lot more and i feel may be that current expenditure is not that big anymore. >> so at this point now but
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also there is going to be a lot of private corporations. and with the contract of services and then to enjoy the benefits and then to open up for these services and then to
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have enough money and use the private sector. >> into your department so president lopez that the cost of immigration from central america is investing and has
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used these figures and where is that money going to come? and with the trump administration do you have that money to invest in central america? and i believe she is one of the best journalists. so that is very difficult in the case but i can tell you something.
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the only way to deal with this and then to have the last to the population and there has to be like that that's the only way. and i understand and i cannot
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assure you that president trump has particular figures and then to be complicated something like that with us and mexico. >> in the final question?
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so i want to ask you if mexico relies on foreign direct investment that there is a lot of concern from investors. and how to change these perceptions. >> and with that consortium it is a very difficult decision. there were many views about
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that. but the most important reason and that would be extremely costly. but it is very costly. and at some point if we finish it would be 20 or 24. but then we have already had at issue once by the tariffs
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and how they treat those and what you have done already is from $6 million to four. $8 million so that is okay now and then to service that debt but the other part that most of the investors in the case and with that concern and some
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people believed at this point to take a new circumstance with that wait and see stance. and then in the real terms and then to take a look at that. we are very concerned about that we are more concerned and
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i will have you know that the mexico city airport and that is going on is a subsidiary. and it is important and one and then that is okay now.
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and then to be built they are going to build up. with those six months or 12 months. >> unfortunately our time has ended so if those who wanted to ask questions but thank you to the secretary to come by. and those of the imf and the world bank please join me to think mister secretary. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> that she took offense at it and reporters were at her door asking questions and that was not true. and said to nancy reagan and don't you ever call me again. and she hung up. >> she said you will never see my diaries. they are kept at the bush library but not available for public view until 35 years
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after her death. i figured that was unlikely she would let me see them but she said and you can see my diaries. and that was an incredible gift. >> the people of colorado and littleton in the families involved at all america cares for them and is praying for them. twenty years ago columbine shooting was one of the deadliest in american history. on thursday we look back on the tragedy. >> at that time columbine had never happened nobody looked
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at the issue as something indicative of the positive one - - possibility of future generations.


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