Mexico's Pena Nieto to tour Gulf states, eye on oil

GMT 07:02 2016 Saturday ,16 January

Arab Today, arab today Mexico's Pena Nieto to tour Gulf states, eye on oil

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto
Mexico City - AFP

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will depart Sunday for state visits to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, focused on economic and energy issues, his government said.

Pena Nieto, who is trying to breathe new life into Mexico's key oil sector, will seek to increase trade and investment ties with "a part of the world that is continually growing in importance," said Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu.

More than 50 deals will be signed during the five-day Middle East tour, including on economic, trade and technological cooperation, said the government.

The president's delegation will include his energy, economy and foreign ministers, as well as a large contingent of business executives.

Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said Mexico was particularly interested in the Gulf states' large sovereign investment funds, "which represent an opportunity for Mexico to capture investment."

Mexico is keen to attract investment to its oil sector after Pena Nieto undertook reforms that ended state-run firm Pemex's 77-year monopoly.

The first two oil auctions after the landmark opening yielded disappointing results, though a third last month was a sell-out.

Pena Nieto's itinerary features business forums, investor roundtables and a keynote speech to the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

He will wrap up the trip with a stop at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, until January 23.

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