UPDATE 1-Big Chinese firm unveils plan to develop Mexican industrial park
(Updates with confirmation of signing of agreement)
By Dave Graham
MEXICO CITY Oct 27 (Reuters) - State-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) reached a preliminary accord on Tuesday to build an industrial park in Mexico that could become one of the biggest-ever Chinese investments in Latin America's second-largest economy.
The government of the western state of Jalisco and Liu Yueping, Americas chief of CCCC, signed a memorandum in Guadalajara, the state capital, to develop the park. It could give China a major foothold to supply the North American market.
The two sides agreed to carry out a six-month feasibility study to identify a suitable location and for two trips by officials to China to assess which manufacturing companies could participate. Jalisco officials hope that dozens will come.
"This is going to be a key source of jobs that will have an impact not just in our state, but also nationally," Jalisco's governor, Aristoteles Sandoval, said in a statement.
State officials told Reuters the plan is to develop a site of around 500 hectares (1,235 acres), with the Jalisco government paying for half the land, and the Chinese the rest. Paying for the park's development would fall to the Chinese alone, they added.
The announcement is welcome news for Jalisco, which emerged relatively unscathed over the weekend after bearing the brunt of the impact of Hurricane Patricia, the biggest storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.
How much the Chinese invest, which companies will come and where the park would be will depend on results of the feasibility study. The companies would have to be manufacturers for the project to go ahead, Jalisco officials said. Continuación...