“A week after the quake, a free event was held on Monday, 25 September at the Enel Auditorium in Rome. It was organised to present the eighth annual edition of Limes, entitled «The Power of Mexico».”
In this issue, the Italian geopolitics magazine, hosted at the Enel headquarters in viale Regina Margherita 125, focuses on the challenges that the Latin American country is preparing to face, challenges that seem more demanding since the recent seismic episode but for which Mexico has many resources to tackle.
The participants in the debate were Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, Mario Giro, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Juan José Guerra Abud, Ambassador of Mexico to Italy. Also present were Niccolò Locatelli, the coordinator of Limesonline, and the magazine director, Lucio Caracciolo, as moderator.
“The earthquake in Mexico cost many human lives and caused damage and destruction. Yet the number of victims could have been even more devastating if the country did not have anti-seismic regulations as efficient as they are. The earthquakes were very strong, but Mexico is even stronger.”
The Mexican ambassador described the country’s current economic and social situation: “Despite internal and external obstacles and a stagnant global economy, the Mexican economy grew 2.4% in 2014, 2.5% in 2015 and 2.3% in 2016”, while the unemployment rate in 2016 was 3.5%, the fifth lowest among OECD countries. Direct foreign investments rose to 26,738.6 million dollars in 2016, and since the establishment of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Mexico (TLCUEM) in 2000, trade between Mexico and Italy has had an average annual growth of 9.3%.
“The story of Enel Green Power in Mexico started 10 years ago with a small acquisition. Today, we are proud to be the biggest renewables operator in the country, with 800 MW of installed capacity and about 1300 MW under construction.”
Following Juan José Guerra Abud’s speech, the floor went to the CEO of Enel Green Power, Antonio Cammisecra, who began his speech by talking about EGP’s presence in Mexico. He focused on the Villanueva plant, under construction in the state of Coahuila, which will be the biggest photovoltaic plant under construction on the American continent and the largest Enel solar project worldwide. “It is a complex project, the result of technology but also of the passion of the many people, mostly Mexican, who work side by side with Italian operators in a project carried out with the highest respect for the environment”, said Cammisecra.
The CEO of Enel Green Power went on to ask a key question: why did EGP want to believe in Mexico? “The country is growing from every point of view, economic and demographic, facing this change with great courage by opening up to reform and accepting the challenge to reach 35% production from renewable sources”, he explained. “Mexico can easily focus on this goal thanks to its many natural resources, especially solar and wind, and keeping in mind that the country is also strongly geothermal”.
Antonio Cammisecra mentioned that since 2008, the year it came into the country, Enel Green Power has invested about 1,500 million dollars in Mexico and plans to invest roughly 1,400 more in the next two years, becoming one of its biggest Italian investors.
“How to live with a neighbour as powerful as the The United States? The success of NAFTA is so extensive and profound that it should be applied to other parts of the world.”
The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mario Giro, focused on the relationship between Mexico and the USA and on the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the free trade agreement signed between Mexico, the United States and Canada. “I believe that the success of the agreement is so extensive and profound that it should be applied to other parts of the world”, said Giro, imagining an agreement of this kind between Europe and Africa.