Mexico's governors tap investors in China, elsewhere

Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:36am EDT
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By Anthony Esposito

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's states are turning to Asia and beyond as some U.S. companies put investment plans on hold south of the border following President Donald Trump's calls to bring jobs back home.

A delegation of three Mexican state leaders, headed by the National Confederation of Governors (Conago), traveled to China this week to meet with business leaders and discuss investment opportunities.

"Conago is developing an agenda with China's provinces to build investment projects in our country," Conago tweeted on Wednesday. "China and Conago agree on building bridges for business, not walls."

Fears of a hit to foreign investment ran high when Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote) canceled a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico's central state of San Luis Potosi in January.

Trump, who had railed against U.S. manufacturers investing in Mexico, hailed the decision as a major victory, but Ford put it down to declining demand for small cars.

"We're not going to sit here with our arms crossed. We're going to turn to Asia, like we've been doing. We want the Chinese to come invest in Hidalgo," state Governor Omar Fayad said in an interview. "We want the Japanese to invest here."

Fayad was speaking on the sidelines of an event organized by China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co Ltd (JAC Motors) (600418.SS: Quote) and Mexico's Giant Motors, which presented a new line of passenger vehicles that will be assembled in Mexico.

The Hidalgo government is also reaching out to European, Canadian, South American and Middle Eastern companies, and expects to announce several more investments this year, he said.   Continued...

Xiang Xingchu, JAC Motors General Manager, shakes hands with Omar Fayad Meneses, Governor of Hidalgo State, during the presentation of an SUV model built in Mexico by the Chinese state-owned automaker, in Mexico City, Mexico March 28, 2017. Picture taken March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido