Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim has vowed to invest up to US$5 billion in infrastructure projects over the next five years of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) tenure.
In a rare press conference, the billionaire businessman endorsed just about every policy of the left-leaning president, adding that Grupo Carso, Slim’s infrastructure development firm, will help President realize his goals.
“I am 100% behind the president”, said the tycoon, according to The Financial Times, appreciating AMLO’s plans to reduce spending, increase wages, root out corruption, and spruce up infrastructure in the underdeveloped south-eastern states of the country.
The statement has left political pundits scratching their heads because Slim was among the investors who lost money in the Mexico City airport project that AMLO scrapped.
But some analysts are saying that it could be an attempt to turn the President’s attention away from breaking up America Movil’s monopoly on Mexico’s telecom industry.
At the press conference, Slim took his telecom rivals to task, asking them why they are not investing in infrastructure programs.
He went on to the extent of asking AT&T, American telecom giant posing threat to Slim’s America Movil’s dominance in the sector, to focus on building infrastructure rather than seeking government incentive to create a level playing field.
Slim also said his America Movil will invest millions of dollars in building telecom infrastructure in Mexico as well as the Central American countries of Guatemala and El Salvador, adding that he had already spoken with the leaders of those countries.