By Dow Jones Business News, October 01, 2013, 04:05:00 PM EDT
MEXICO CITY--Brazilian businessman Marcelo Odebrecht said his companies are planning to invest $8.1 billion in Mexico
over the next five years in a wide range of projects from petrochemicals to highway concessions, the Mexican government
Mr. Odebrecht, whose conglomerate includes operations in construction, petrochemicals, transportation, infrastructure
and biofuels, met in Mexico on Tuesday with President Enrique Pena Nieto. The Brazilian businessman said the Odebrecht
Organization has already invested $1.8 billion of the planned amount in studies and projects, the presidential press
office said in a statement. Investments will be in areas such as petrochemicals, renewable energy, ethanol, sugar and
Odebrecht controls Braskem, a petrochemicals concern that has teamed up with Mexico's Grupo Idesa in an ethylene and
polyethylene joint venture in Mexico'sVeracruz state. The project, which is under construction, requires $3.2 billion
in fixed investment and is expected to involve total investment of $4.5 billion.
Odebrecht is also a major ethanol producer. Unlike Brazil, which along with the U.S. is a world leader in ethanol
production, Mexico has yet to become a user of the fuel, although there are some pilot projects for producing it. Mexico
produced a record seven million tons of sugar in the 2012-2013 season from 61.4 million tons of sugar cane.
Despite the downturn in Mexico's economy in the second quarter, foreign direct investment has gathered pace this year
after a weak 2012 in which it totaled $15.5 billion. FDI reached $23.9 billion in the first half of 2013, boosted by the
buyout of brewer Grupo Modelo by Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD).
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