Mexico launches regional anti-poverty program targeting Campeche

President Enrique Peña Nieto has predicted 'reactivation and regeneration' for Campeche and Tabasco. (PHOTO:

Mexico is getting ready to launch a new program to lift its poorest out of poverty. President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a law last year to set up special economic zones in the country’s southern and central regions.

CGTN’s Martin Markovits reports that starting this summer, the Mexican government will offer tax, credit and labor incentives to entice foreign and domestic companies to do business in this area.

It will offer tax incentives and other measures to attract investors.

The Mexican oil producing states of Campeche and Tabasco are reeling from the economic repercussions of the global crash in oil prices. Thousands of jobs have been lost, turning cities that were once bustling with activity into abandoned towns.

But a recent move to designate these areas as special economic zones may bring economic change.

President Enrique Peña Nieto has predicted 'reactivation and regeneration' for Campeche and Tabasco. (PHOTO:
President Enrique Peña Nieto has predicted ‘reactivation and regeneration’ for Campeche and Tabasco. (PHOTO:

Similar economic zones implemented more than 30 years ago in China transformed that country’s economy, and Mexico hopes it will work here.

In Campeche and Tabasco, government officials believe cheap labor costs and the already established oil sector will give the region an advantage.

“The core of this policy is recognizing our comparative advantage: location. For example, we are next to the main market globally, which is the United States. The other is given that we are the energy hub of the country,” Daniel Rodrigues, Tabasco Secretary of Economic Development and Tourism said.

The Mexican government hopes these economic zones will lower inequality and bring much needed economic development to the poorest regions of the country. But there are still challenges.