by Ted Hessson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. companies plan to invest $40 billion in Mexico by 2024, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said at a meeting of U.S. and Mexican executives on Wednesday, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
López Obrador and Ebrard are in Washington following a meeting between the Mexican president and his US counterpart Joe Biden, as well as other officials, on Tuesday.
Calling it “great news for Mexico,” Ebrard revealed the potential investments on Twitter as Mexican officials met with executives for a business breakfast in the US capital.
Mexican officials said the talks could lead to progress on a number of pending investments in Mexico by US energy companies.
Billions of dollars in foreign investment in Mexico have been held up by disputes between companies and the government as López Obrador tightens state control of the energy market.
Still, López Obrador told Biden on Tuesday that Mexico was ready to work with the United States to help secure energy supplies and promote North American economic integration.
Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier, who was also at the business breakfast, said on Twitter that López Obrador said he had come to listen to energy companies, including Sempra Energy.
The US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, said in June that Mexico and the United States are working on disputes involving US companies worth about $30 billion.
(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington and Daina Beth Solomon and Dave Graham in Mexico City; Writing by Kylie Madry, editing by Stephen Eisenhammer and Marguerita Choy)