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Special 101805 Migration
October 18, 2005
Mexican president acknowledges economic importance of migration
Presidency of the Republic

Salamanca, Spain President Fox proposed turning the migratory phenomenon into an opportunity for economic and cultural growth for both nations and migrants, after pointing out that the 21st Century will be identified with migration.

He stressed the need to regulate social flows while fully respecting the human and social rights of those that leave their country in search of new opportunities for development.

He explained that migration constitutes a complex issue, in which both sides should be analyzed, since people in search of new horizons unleash an enormous amount of energy. This is one of the main advantages of migration, which therefore demands all our support and commitment, he added.

During the last day of work at the 15th Latin American Summit, the Mexican president invited his counterparts to regulate the flow of people, while fully respecting their human, social and economic rights.

He explained that in Mexico, the migratory phenomenon occurs in two ways. In other words, “We are a country that expels emigrants, with many Mexicans leaving in search of opportunities in the United States and Canada and at the same time, we are a receptor country, in that the number of Central Americans arriving every year exceeds 200,000.”

This is why, he said, the Mexican government understands the problem and has pledged to provide viable solutions and transform this flow of people into a win-win situation in which everyone benefits.

He repeated that from the perspective of his administration, this phenomenon contributes to the economies of countries with migratory flows and boosts competitiveness, which is why it is important to plan and allow this exchange to take place according to the laws that guarantee respect for migrants’ rights.

He explained that Mexico is seeking an agreement on this issue with the United States to guarantee stability and respect for Mexicans in the US, while strengthening both economies.

“The US benefits extensively from these Mexican migratory flows: its economy becomes more competitive, it protects its own jobs and,” he added, “NAFTA, that bloc in which Canada, the US and Mexico have formed a partnership, becomes stronger in relation to other regions.”

President Fox said that Mexico is currently engaged in discussions with Spain to arrange for a temporary workers’ program, based on providing advantages for migrants.

During the closing ceremony of the 15th Latin American Summit, the president attended bilateral meetings with Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations Organization (UN); his Portuguese counterpart, Jorge Branco de Sampaio and President of Grupo Globalidad Española, Juan José Hidalgo.

President Fox provided details of these meetings at a press conference held at the Salón de Ensayos at the Palace of Congress in that city.

During his meeting with Kofi Annan, the latter thanked President Fox for his leadership of the Friends for the UN Reform Group and asked him to continue with these actions that have significantly benefited the running of this organization.

The UN General Secretary also congratulated the Mexican Government on its early achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, which, he said, is a tangible sign of this administration’s commitment to achieving these objectives.

As for the bilateral meeting with the president of Portugal, the Mexican president said that efforts to strengthen the relationship between Mexico and Portugal, particularly to promote investment and commerce, were already underway.

The Portuguese president introduced his new prime minister and agreed to arrange a visit by government officials and businessmen to Mexico during the first quarter of 2006.

As for the meeting with Juan José Hidalgo, he said that Spain would heavily invest in tourism in Mexico, since the Spanish businessmen would participate in the bidding for Aeroméxico and/or Mexicana de Aviación and invest in hotel and tourist developments.

In this respect, President Fox said that investment is welcome in Mexico, and recalled the fact that Mexico is the world’s seventh most important tourist destination, since it receives 24 million tourists a year, profits from which a total of $12 billion US dollars in foreign exchange and investment have been obtained.

As for the assistance the Mexican government will provide for those affected by Hurricane Stan in both Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala, he explained that Mexico has nine billion pesos that will be assigned for the reconstruction of the south-southeast in the six states affected.

In the case of El Salvador and Guatemala, he said that Mexico will continue helping during the reconstruction stage and that next week, a support plan will be submitted on how to use petrol to support the reactivation of these economies.

“Mexico will make a significant contribution in this respect, by providing support through the San José agreement and oil,” he said.

Finally, he added, there are long-term plans with Central American countries and regional financial institutions to built three plants: a Mexican oil refinery; a hydraulic electricity generator, and a plant for converting liquid gas to natural gas, which will ensure regional competitiveness through the availability of these three energy inputs, which in turn will boost the development of the Central American region.
Translation: Presidency of the Republic