Carlos Slim urges government move quickly on investment projects
Sustained growth of not just 2%, but even 4% to 5% is attainable and would put Mexico among the world’s developed countries, “irreversibly and in grand style,” businessman Carlos Slim Helú told the Mexico Business Summit, being held this week in Querétaro.
“I have not the smallest doubt that Mexico has an enormous opportunity” and that sustained growth can be achieved, said Slim, head of Grupo Carso and owner of Telmex and América Móvil.
He urged the government to accelerate the launch of investment projects such as gas pipelines that connect to the United States network, deep-water oil exploration, and others that can generate employment and boost economic growth.
He said it was urgent that authorities move on those projects to allow the private sector to act as quickly as possible to generate economic activity.
Slim Helú told the conference that in order to stimulate the economy workers’ incomes must increase, for which they must be able to achieve higher education levels and become part of the middle class. This will reduce the country’s dependence on exports and strengthen the domestic market.
“It’s very important for the country that it can create a larger middle class with a higher education level and greater buying power that will allow for the creation of a very solid domestic market, and that people can have the advantage of higher incomes.”
One of the solutions to reducing corruption, he suggested, is to allow private investment in all sectors of the country. Without a doubt, Slim added, private investment is the way forward, be it in energy, infrastructure or education.
He also elaborated on his proposal to reduce the workweek from 48 to 35 hours as a means to increase productivity. A 48-hour-week allows for lunch and coffee breaks. After the reduction, the result would be 35 hours of actual work, or three days instead of five. Under Slim’s scheme salary levels would remain the same, but the retirement age would be 75.
Source: El Universal (sp)