Mexico's president signs law to reform energy market, attract investment

MEXICO CITY Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:23pm EST

1 of 2. Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto shows the document after he signed into law a radical reform of the country's energy, at the National Palace in Mexico City December 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Henry Romero

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday signed into law a radical reform of the country's energy market, ending a 75-year oil and gas monopoly in the hope of attracting major investments to increase production.

"This is a transformational reform ... that will allow the country to produce more energy at lower costs," Pena Nieto said at the signing ceremony flanked by lawmakers at the national palace.

The overhaul of three articles of Mexico's constitution passed the Congress last week and over the weekend was approved by a majority of the country's state legislatures.

The president's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and his conservative allies in Congress approved the reform arguing that it promises more jobs and economic growth by allowing private sector participation in country's lucrative oil, gas and electricity sectors.

Congress is likely to approve by April so-called secondary legislation that will implement the reform and flesh out crucial commercial details.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

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