Chinese investors are keenly interested in participating in the development of special economic zones (SEZs) in Mexico, Mexican officials said on Monday.
"We see a huge appetite in the area of developing the infrastructure of the special economic zones, in which (the Chinese) have great capacity," Enrique Huesca, the federal executive secretary in charge of developing the country's SEZs, told a gathering of foreign correspondents.
Last Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced an initial investment of some 5.3 billion U.S. dollars in the project to develop a number of SEZs.
The Chinese government and investors have expressed an interest above all in administering the zones, which imply building, developing, managing and maintaining them, Huesca said.
Meanwhile, other Chinese investors are interested in specific industries in the zones, including steel, agro-industry, metalworking, and information technologies, he said.
Mexico's government has been working very closely with Chinese officials in developing the SEZs, said Huesca, highlighting China's experience in the field.
"The Chinese are developing economic zones throughout the world," he said.
Over the coming months, he added, the government will release more details about the project and the investors taking part, not just from China, but also other parts of the world.
Also at the event was Deputy Minister of Finance Vanessa Rubio, who explained that much of the intended investments must still be approved by their respective board of directors.
"We know the investments are firm, but we have yet to announce them" due to the pending approval process, said Rubio.
The Mexican government has promoted the project as a way to attract investment, especially to the less developed regions of the country.
The first three SEZs are to be built in the ports of Lazaro Cardenas-La Union on the west coast; Coatzacoalcos on the eastern Gulf of Mexico; and Puerto Chiapas, on Mexico's south Pacific coast. Two more are planned for Progreso on the Yucatan Peninsula and Salina Cruz, also to the south.