U.S. energy secretary positive about opening of Mexican electricity
CITY (AP) -- U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson
on Friday characterized as "very positive" a proposal
by Mexico's president-elect to open this country's
electricity sector to private investment.
noted that "this is a decision that the Mexican citizens
and Congress should make," the government news agency
comments followed a private meeting with President-elect
Vicente Fox, the first opposition presidential candidate
ever to defeat the Institutional Revolutionary Party,
which has ruled Mexico since 1929.
takes office December 1, has pledged to increase the
amount of private investment in the electricity sector.
But he rejects a plan presented last year by Mexico's
current administration to privatize power-generation
assets of the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission.
promoting private investment in electricity has been
frozen in Congress since February 1999.
demand for electricity has grown by 8 percent this
year, causing shortages this summer during peak hours.
Government economists estimate Mexico needs 5 billion
dollars a year in investments over the next five years
just to keep abreast of growing demand.
the private meeting, Fox also spoke with Richardson
about his desire to stabilize volatile world oil prices,
prices are earning Mexico about 4 billion dollars
in extra income this year, but also threaten to spark
a recession in developed nations, which would hurt
markets for Mexico's manufacturing exports.
met with Richardson on Friday after the president-elect
returned from a two-day visit to California, a state
with which he hopes to foster greater cooperation.
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