Monday, April 13, 2015

Obama praises EPN at business summit

Panama City
Panama City, site of this year's Summit of the Americas. ap


Sensible energy reforms and outstanding efforts to combat organized crime and violence were among the praises U.S. President Barack Obama had for his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, during the second business forum of the Summit of the Americas, held this week in Panama.
It is good for the U.S., he said during a panel discussion, that Mexico continues to be successful in implementing its reform program. When it comes to regulation, said Obama, there are often those who are comfortable with the status quo and don’t want to see change.

“Undoing regulations can be politically difficult at times and for that I admire very much the work that Enrique has done in Mexico’s energy sector. It is something very sensible but at the same time very difficult.

“What he saw and what all Mexico recognized is that this sector is not going to be efficient without the input, innovation and investment it needs from the private sector,” said the U.S. president.

Obama said as well that the region needs to work together to combat violence and crime and establish security, although the latter also requires transparency, accountability and a judicial system that is just and equitable, he observed.

But the rule of law is not just important for combating violence but for attracting investment as well, he added.

Mexico’s president was also lauded by the president of the Inter-American Development Bank for having done what previous governments could not: introduce structural reforms to bring the country into modern times, something which had always been a dream, said Luis Alberto Moreno Mejía.
The business summit, which began Wednesday, preceded the seventh annual Summit of the Americas, a two-day event that began yesterday. Both events are being hosted by Panama.

In a press interview before yesterday’s sessions, Peña Nieto said the event was historic because for the first time in more than 50 years all of the continents’ countries would be together at one forum.
He looked forward to the meeting between Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, hoping it would thaw relations and “eliminate the last remnants of the Cold War.”

Peña Nieto estimated that despite significant advances, 11% of the region’s population still resides in extreme poverty, with citizens of Latin American and Caribbean countries living with some of the greatest inequality in the world.

But the summit is a critical venue for regional cooperation that will contribute to improvement, he said.

Source: El Universal (sp)
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