The Americas

Walmart to invest $1.3 billion in Mexico

Worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Wal-Mart store in North Kingstown, R.I.

Worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Wal-Mart store in North Kingstown, R.I.  (AP)

Walmart's Mexico unit will invest $1.3 billion over the next three years, company officials announced Wednesday at an event with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The CEO of Walmart de Mexico y Central America (Walmex), Guilherme Loureiro, said the money will go toward bolstering the company’s logistics infrastructure, building new distribution centers and expanding existing ones.

More than 10,000 new permanent direct jobs will be created as a result, he said.

"We are convinced that Mexico is a country rich in opportunities," said Loureiro, noting that Walmart has invested $2.6 billion in Mexico over the last four years.

The executive recalled that Walmart welcomes 4 million shoppers daily at its Mexican stores, has 28,000 suppliers and employs more than 200,000 people.

Walmex is the second largest company in the Mexican Stock Exchange, with nearly $24 billion in revenue reported in 2015, El Universal newspaper reported. It has presence in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

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Loureiro stressed that the new investment "was generated by profits obtained in Mexico," appearing to quell any doubts about any transfer of jobs or investment from the United States.

Peña Nieto hailed the announcement, saying it shows the confidence the country's largest private-sector employer has in the country.

"Mexico is one of the few economies in the hemisphere that is growing,” he said during the announcement of the investment plan. “[Mexico] has become the main economic engine of America.”

He said that from the time he took office in December 2012 until September of this year, Mexico received $127 billion in foreign direct investment, up 50 percent from the first 46 months of the previous administration.

AP and EFE contributed to this report.