President López Obrador invited business directors for dinner at the National Palace to promote public-private investment in infrastructure projects. The talks focused on the potential development of hydraulic and transportation infrastructure projects in Sinaloa.
The dinner, held in the palace’s Treasury Room, was attended by around 60 businessmen from national and local industries from Sinaloa, grouped in various chambers. Heads of the Ministries of Finance, Economy and Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation also attended the dinner, as well as the Governor of Sinaloa, Rubén Rocha.
Among the business leaders who attended the meeting were Francisco Cervantes, President, the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), José Medina Mora, National Leader, COPARMEX, Daniel Becker, President, the Association of the Banks of Mexico (ABM); Daniel Chávez, Head, Grupo Vidanta, Carlos Bremer, President, VALUE Grupo Financiero, Carlos Slim, CEO, Telmex and Sinaloa's Jesús Vizcarra, President, SuKarne and Salud Digna.
During the dinner, which lasted approximately four hours, the government agreed with national and local businessmen on a public-private co-investment plan of MX$8 billion (US$383.8 million) for the construction of the Santa María dam in the south of Sinaloa. This dam will bring drinking water to more than 400,000 inhabitants and be the source of irrigation for more than 24,000ha of crops, which will also generate 30,000 jobs for the area.
The attendees pointed out that the dam is a priority infrastructure work in light of the water shortage that Nuevo León, another northern state with similar climate conditions, is experiencing.
"Throughout the country, there is concern about water and this is something we must be aware of. We must take care of the resource so that what is happening in certain regions of the country does not repeat itself. With these investments in infrastructure, especially in the Santa María dam, Sinaloa is preventing the problem that Nuevo León is facing today," explained Medina.
Regarding the broader infrastructure agenda, Francisco Cervantes assured that issues such as the third infrastructure package pending between the private sector and the federal government would not be discussed, nor the progress of the Anti-Inflation and Deficiency Package (PACIC). These issues will be debated elsewhere in the following days.
In May, the Secretary of Finance, Rogelio Ramírez de la O, and the leaders of the CCE announced that the third package of infrastructure investment projects for private sector investment was ready for when President López Obrador wanted to announce it.
However, by the end of June, Cervantes announced that some new proposals to be included in the package are still under review. The viability of the other 15 projects is being examined, too.
Besides the Santa María dam, other infrastructure works for public-private co-investment were presented at the meeting, such as the construction of highways to connect areas of Sinaloa with Durango and the development of a second dam in Picacho.
During the meeting, President López Obrador also promoted the National Lottery draw on September 15, the proceeds of which will be used to finance the construction of the Santa María dam.