Why AMLO is busy meeting private sector leaders

Bnamericas Published: Friday, June 24, 2022
Why AMLO is busy meeting private sector leaders

Meetings between Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and private sector leaders mostly focus on investments in the southeast, the 2020-24 national infrastructure plan (PNI), and the deployment of 5G, according to an expert. 

More meetings will take place before AMLO travels to Washington on July 10 to meet with US President Joe Biden, where he will present investment opportunities in Mexico’s south-southeastern region, José Ignacio Martínez, head of Mexican think tank Lacen, told BNamericas.

More specifically, AMLO is promoting the southeastern region, where the Maya train, the Olmeca oil refinery, and the Tehuantepec isthmus rail corridor are being built, he said. 

Throughout June, AMLO and ministers have held closed-door meetings with key private sector leaders.

For example, on June 16, AMLO met with members of the country’s biggest business associations, CCE and CMN, to discuss investments, according to media reports.  

On the next day, AMLO said at his morning press conference that he would like to take some business leaders on this trip to Washington. “Let's see if we have a joint meeting with Mexican and US businesspeople,” he said. 

According to Martínez, the idea is to present “a portfolio of already committed investments to then make President Biden see that both the [Mexican] government and [Mexican] business leaders are willing to make a strong investment, mainly in the southeast of the country,” he said. 

This will “motivate Biden so that the US government can also invest in the south of Mexico with a very important objective, which is to create employment and thereby contain migration.”


Some of these investments could be part of the third package of projects in the 2020-24 national infrastructure program, which has still not been presented. 

Private sector leaders from different business chambers, including CCE, said the package is ready. But the government has the last say on when to present it. 

According to Martínez, the government has until August to present the package, which must include water, energy and communications and transportation initiatives with a participation of at least 50% from the private sector. 

Failing to introduce the package would cause constitutional trouble, as the government must present its final spending budget in September. 

AMLO’s term ends in 2024. 


On June 21, AMLO met with Samsung CEO Sungan Choi, whose company won contracts for building the Olmeca refinery.

Although few details were disclosed, Martínez said the meeting sought to strengthen Mexico’s plans to deploy 5G. 

The meeting “goes in this direction of getting a greater investment by this [South] Korean company,” he said, recalling that Samsung became a US ally in stopping the proliferation of Huawei networks in Latin America.  

Samsung “is one of the companies that is strongly promoting the so-called 5G connectivity network and this is because in the last meeting of the high-level group between Mexico and the US, a telecommunications security group was created to precisely contain/stop the advance of China, Huawei, particularly.”

Pictured: AMLO and energy minister Rocío Nahles with Samsung executives on June 21.

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