State-owned firm to ink deal for in­dus­trial park in­Mex­ico

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By REUTERS in­Mex­ico City

A ma­jor State-owned Chi­nese com­pany has struck a pre­lim­i­nary deal to de­velop an in­dus­trial park in western Mex­ico that could be one of China’s big­gest-ever in­vest­ments in Latin Amer­ica’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy.

The gov­ern­ment of Jalisco state will sign an agree­ment with China Communications Con­struc­tion Co Ltd on Tues­day to cre­ate a park to host Chi­nese firms, two of­fi­cials from the western re­gion said.

Speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, the of­fi­cials said the two sides had un­der­taken to carry out a fea­si­bil­ity study to iden­tify a suit­able lo­ca­tion for the park and to stage two trips to China to as­sess which com­pa­nies could come to Mex­ico.

The of­fi­cials said the plan is to de­velop a site of around 500 hectares, with the Jalisco gov­ern­ment pay­ing for half the land, and the Chi­nese the rest. Pay­ing for the park’s de­vel­op­ment would fall to the Chi­nese alone, the two said.

The com­pany did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

Jalisco, which at the week­end emerged rel­a­tively un­scathed af­ter bear­ing the brunt of the im­pact of Hur­ri­canePa­tri­cia, ishometo Guadala­jara, the sec­ond-big­gest city in­Mex­ico.

How much the Chi­nese in­vest and where the park would be will de­pend on a six­month study process, one of the of­fi­cials said, adding that for­mal adop­tion of the project would also hinge on the Chi­nese agree­ing to send manufacturing firms.

In­dus­trial parks of a sim­i­lar size de­vel­oped in Mex­ico by global man­u­fac­tur­ers have in­volved in­vest­ment of sums rang­ing from hun­dreds of mil­lions to more than $1 bil­lion.

Guadala­jara oc­cu­pies a strate­gic po­si­tion be­tween Mex­ico’s top con­tainer port Man­zanillo and the in­dus­trial belt of cen­tralMex­ico, which is well con­nected to the United States.

The city’s ad­van­ta­geous lo­ca­tion, in­clud­ing good links to Mex­ico City, has made it a tar­get of pow­er­ful drug gangs.

The planned park would pro­vide China with a base to sup­ply both the Mex­i­can and US mar­kets, the two of­fi­cials said.

If the project in Jalisco pro­ceeds, it would help mend eco­nomic fences be­tween Mex­ico and China af­ter they were dam­aged last year when Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto abruptly can­celed a $3.75 bil­lion Chi­nese-led high-speed rail­way project in­Mex­ico.

The high-speed rail con­tract awarded to a group led by China Rail­way Con­struc­tion Corp Ltd was re­voked as me­dia re­ports were sur­fac­ing that Pena Ni­eto’s wife was in the process of buy­ing a lux­ury house from one of the con­sor­tium’sMex­i­can part­ners.

The can­cel­la­tion caused dis­may in Bei­jing and came right ahead of Pena Ni­eto’s first of­fi­cial state visit to China, which has so far made lit­tle for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in­Mex­ico.

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

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