Updated 03:37 AM EDT, Thu, Oct 28, 2021

Mexico's President Announces Changes in His Cabinet

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Enrique Peña Nieto made some notable changes in his Cabinet, replacing leaders for the country's main oil company and the social security and health sectors.

An Associated Press report published by The New York Times noted that Nieto appointed ex-Federal Health Commission leader Mike Arriola Penalosa as the new social security chief.

For the health department, Jose Narro Robles took the place of Mercedes Juan.

But the most talked-about change in Nieto's cabinet was the appointment of Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya as the new chief of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state oil company.

The move, as per the Associated Press, is part of Mexico's effort to recover from the plunge in the prices of oil.

Nasdaq mentioned that Anaya is taking the place of Emilio Lozoya Austin, who has been Pemex's head since 2012.

It noted that Nieto expects the state oil company's new leader to forge partnerships with private companies and make financing for the industry stronger.

Recent drops in the prices of petroleum products have reportedly caused a $9.9 billion tax loss in Mexico for the third quarter of the past year.

As prices plunge, the output is also affected. Nasdaq said the oil production of the company has also declined since 2004. In that year, Pemex was able to produce 3.4 million barrels of oil a day. Records last year revealed that it has gone down to 2.27 million barrels daily.

"I've given instructions to the new director to make the efficiency and profitability of all Pemex's activities his top priority, with an emphasis on its international competitiveness," Nieto was quoted by Reuters as saying.

He added that there is a great need for the company to focus on investment, creating joint venture projects and changing the spending process of Pemex.

For former Pemex head Raul Munoz, the change in leadership will give Lozoya the peace of mind he needs. Munoz, who headed the oil company from 2000 to 2004, recognized the difficult situation that Pemex is in right now.

On the other hand, Financial Times claimed that the country's finance minister Luis Videgaray has suggested that cost cutting is badly needed in Pemex for it to recover.

Ideas like this are expected to be introduced by Anaya during his leadership since he has attained a doctorate degree in economics from Harvard University.

"He's a real pro, getting into both the big strategy and the detail," an ex-energy executive mentioned in the Financial Times report.

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