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President flies in to open Mérida’s new convention center

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Mexico’s president, Yucatán’s governor and other officials officially open Yucatán’s new convention center. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — President Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit to Yucatán on Thursday marked two projects designed to ignite the state’s economy.

The new International Convention Center was officially opened and Progreso’s Special Economic Zone (EEZ) status was signed into law.

First, Peña Nieto unveiled an inaugural plaque at the Convention Center, a modern and grand complex in the hotel zone. Shortly after, he signed a proclamation to start the EEZ which, he said, will soon connect Yucatán with the most dynamic economic centers in the country and world.

The EEZ provides financial incentives for businesses interested in setting up shop in Progreso. It corresponds with a national effort that anticipates US$ 6.2 billion in investments from firms based in Korea, Japan and Singapore. Other Special Economic Zones were established in Coatzacoalcos; Lázaro Cárdenas, Chiapas; and Salinas Cruz, Oaxaca.

EEZ coordinator Gerardo Gutiérrez Candiani said that the project will eventually generate 30,000 good-quality jobs in Progreso.

The president of the Tourism Business Council of Yucatán, Jorge Escalante Bolio, also spoke, saying that the state is fashionable because of a key strategy shift. The state graduated from promoting salbutes and jaranas — traditional foods and folk dancing — and stepped up its push for lucrative convention and wedding events.

Escalante Bolio asked the president for additional resources to promote the new Congress Center nationally and internationally.

After ambiguous replies by the secretary of tourism, Enrique de la Madrid, and Mexico’s finance minister, José Antonio González Anaya, President Peña Nieto instructed both officials to attend to Escalante Bolio’s request.

For the inauguration, about 1,200 guests filled the main hall of the new International Convention Center.

With information from Diario de Yucatán

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