Videgaray Says Pena Nieto Policies to Cut Mexico Public Debt

Mexico’s net public debt is on a downward trend and is due to end President Enrique Pena Nieto’s six-year term at around 32 percent of gross domestic product, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said.

Pena Nieto, who has presented a balanced budget as part of efforts to lower net public debt from its current level of 33.7 percent of GDP, will also continue with his competition agenda, Videgaray said at a Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico SAB conference in Cancun today.

The president “is strongly committed to macroeconomic stability and productivity oriented reforms,” Videgaray said. “This budget and the financial plan for the next years implies a declining trend in our public debt as a share of GDP,” Videgaray said.

Pena Nieto has vowed to boost economic growth in Latin America’s second-biggest economy by lifting tax collection and breaking state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos’s monopoly on the oil industry.

Since taking office Dec. 1, the president’s early successes include a deal among major political parties to present a tax and oil industry overhauls this year and the passage last month of a balanced budget for the first time since 2009.

A bill to boost competition in the banking sector and improve the public’s access to credit will be presented in the legislative session starting in February, Videgaray said. In general, Pena Nieto’s competition agenda involves bills to create “more effective” sanctions and to strengthen anti-trust regulators, Videgaray added.

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