A plan from the United States to fund several undertakings in Mexico and Central America to create jobs and discourage migration was announced Tuesday by Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.
“The United States and Mexico today commit to strengthen and expand our bilateral cooperation to foster development and increase investment in southern Mexico and in Central America to create a zone of prosperity,” said Ebrard reading from a joint statement by both governments.
“We are committed to promoting strong regional economic growth, good jobs, and expanded opportunity for all of our citizens,” Ebrard added.
He said the agreement represents the US' endorsement of the development plan that Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador signed with the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which collectively form what is known as the Northern Triangle and account for the bulk of US-bound Central American migrants.
“The United States and Mexico will lead in working with regional and international partners to build a more prosperous and secure Central America to address the underlying causes of migration, and so that citizens of the region can build better lives for themselves and their families at home,” Ebrard said.
According to the agreement, Washington is pledging “[US] $5.8 billion in support of institutional reforms, development, and economic growth in the Northern Triangle from public and private sources.”
Concerning the south of Mexico, Ebrard said that the Lopez Obrador administration is planning to invest US$25 billion in five years. He also announced a meeting of senior officials from both governments will take place by the end of January 2019 to evaluate the new project and create a strategy.
But investments pour in not only from the United States. Global food giant Nestle plans to invest US $ 154 million in a plant in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz to process 20,000 tons of coffee beans a year.
The new plant is to be equipped with environment-friendly technology to reduce the amount of water and energy used.
The “good news for the country is the number of jobs that will be generated,” Lopez Obrador said. The project will initially create 250 direct jobs and 2,500 indirect openings, it was reported. Nestle said in a statement that it annually purchases roughly $94 million in coffee beans from more than 10,000 growers in Veracruz.