"Building a better country"

Mexico’s momentous policy shift was enabled by several controversial new laws and constitutional amendments that were approved over the last year. “Reforms are the foundation for building a better country,” said Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, speaking last month at the World Energy Forum on Latin America, held in Quintana Roo. “They are a platform for beginning a new stage of development.”

Not everyone is excited about the new development, however. Environmental groups including Greenpeace have expressed concern over increasing oil and gas exploitation in Mexico. In March, Greenpeace blasted the UK government over a $1bn investment involving Pemex and other fossil fuel companies.

But the energy business can have a positive impact, says Eduardo Reyes Bravo, a Mexico-based director of infrastructure and energy strategy with PricewaterhouseCoopers. “One of the key elements of the reform is to enable competition in the market,” he said. “Competition should bring better prices to industry, which, in turn, can be more competitive, increasing exports, generating new employment and reducing prices in the local market.

The reform measures aim to boost competition, and the government and energy companies claim they can improve Mexicans’ economic opportunities, environmental protections, health and trust in their institutions.

“If we really want to achieve change in these [corrupt] practices, then this has to be a structural change throughout society,” Peña Nieto said. “We have to be the government that knocks down the walls that are in the way of our achieving a more equitable and just society.”

Source: Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/02/mexico-oil-companies-reforms-gas-hydrocarbon