After years of uncertainty, Mexico's economy has begun to stabilize somewhat. Large manufacturers like Bosch are making considerable investments in the country, with Deutsche Welle reporting that the auto parts manufacturer plans to spend about $124 million on a new facility. But more than many other factors, the upcoming Mexican presidential election will have significant effects on the national economy.
The recent dispute between front-running candidate Manuel Lopez Obrador - a populist-leaning progressive who has pledged to enact sweeping anti-corruption mandates - and Mexican multibillionaire Carlos Slim serves as one major example of this possibility. According to Reuters, Obrador and Slim are at odds over an airport construction project into which the telecommunications magnate has funneled considerable funds and resources.
As yet, the proposed airport, which would be in Mexico City, looks to have a final price tag of $14 billion. Obrador believes a similar project would be feasible to complete using one of Mexico's existing military airports as a foundation, costing less public money. The poll-leading presidential candidate didn't mince words regarding the issue.
"[Slim's] a businessman, so he's defending his interests, but I'm going to be president of Mexico and I'll defend the interests of the people," Obrador said, according to the news provider.
Slim countered by stating that the airport project would bring much-needed revitalization to the Mexico City district in which it would be located - currently one of the city's most economically distressed areas. He claimed shopping centers and apartment complexes could easily spring up around the airport, as well.
According to Money magazine, Slim owns more than 200 Mexican companies, as well as Latin America's largest business, the mobile phone company America Movil. As such, conflicts between the mogul and Obrador, should he become president, would have considerable ramifications for the economy at large, particularly if Obrador discovered corruption within Slim's operations. The outcome of the election will likely be watched closely around the globe.