Mexico saw record $35 bln in foreign direct investment in 2013

MEXICO CITY, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Mexico drew a record $35.2 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, the country’s economy ministry said on Sunday, nearly double the level seen in 2012.

A slew of economic reforms in industries ranging from telecoms to energy pushed through Congress by President Enrique Pena Nieto has lured new investors to Mexico, which averaged $23 billion in FDI per year between 2000 and 2012.

Last year’s FDI was up 178 percent from the $12.7 billion seen in 2012, the ministry said.

The record high seen in 2013 was mainly due to Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev’s acquisition of Mexican beer giant Grupo Modelo, which was completed at the end of May and brought in about $13 billion, the ministry said.

As a result Belgium was the biggest foreign investor in 2013, followed by the United States and Japan. The ministry added that about half the spend was new investments and nearly three-quarters of investment went to the manufacturing sector.

The ministry said FDI in the fourth quarter of last year was $5.42 billion, up 138 percent from the average fourth-quarter FDI over the last ten years.