Mexican leader visits London

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The Independent Online
PRESIDENT Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico arrives in London today for a four-day official visit. In addition to ceremonial engagements, Mr Salinas and three of his ministers will be meeting the Confederation of British Industry and British businessmen.

Mr Salinas, who has been a driving force behind the impending North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with the United States and Canada, is anxious to convince Europeans that such a grouping would not be a fortress, and would open up attractive opportunities in Mexico, which has a market of around 375 million consumers.

Britain is already the second-largest foreign investor in Mexico, with a total of about dollars 2bn (pounds 1.04bn), and this is Mr Salinas's second visit here in three years.

Mexico has enjoyed steady economic growth since Mr Salinas took office in 1988, only six years after the country defaulted on its foreign debt repayments and entered a period of economic stagnation. It is now regarded as one of Latin America's most attractive economic prospects.

On Tuesday Mr Salinas leaves for Paris, and Spain, where he will attend a summit of Latin American presidents in Madrid on 22 and 23 July and the opening of the Olympic Games in Barcelona.

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's governing party has won the disputed governor's race in Michoacan state by a huge margin, final official results showed on Thursday, AP reports.

Eduardo Villasenor of the Institutional Revolutionary Party won with 418,080 votes to 289,723 by Cristobal Arias of the Revolutionary Democratic Party, Mexico's electoral commission announced. Final results from Sunday's vote followed days of accusations by the opposition party that it was being robbed of victory by fraud.

The 'Independent' is publishing a special report on Mexico with next Tuesday's paper.

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