Visiting Mexican President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto stressed here Thursday to need to strengthen economic and trade ties with Brazil. While meeting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Nieto, who will take office in December, said stronger ties, including in the sector of poverty reduction,
would benefit all Latin American countries.
Hailing Brazil's achievement in the fight against poverty, Nieto asked the Brazilian government for help in establishing similar policies in Mexico.
"I asked for the president's collaboration to learn about (Brazil's) successful experience, which can help define the public policies we will have in Mexico to fight poverty and support the portion of the population that needs it the most," Nieto said.
According to Brazilian government figures, 35 million Brazilians have been lifted out of poverty and joined the middle class in the last decade during the administration of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) and his successor Rousseff.
Official figures showed Mexico has about 50 million people, or 46 percent of the population, who are living in poverty.
The president-elect said he is particularly interested in the Brazilian program "Science without Frontiers," which distributes government scholarships to about 100,000 youngsters to study at some of the world' s best universities.
Nieto also said he wants to use Brazil's oil giant Petrobras as a model for modernizing Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex.
Petrobras has opened some of its capital to the private sector but the company is controlled by the government which owns the majority of shares.
"That is a model that inspires what we want to do in Mexico," he said, stressing Petrobras became a "larger, more competitive" company with the participation of the private sector.
The president-elect is on a six-nation Latin American tour.
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