MEXICO CITY – Mexican magnate Carlos Slim said on Tuesday that the September earthquakes in Mexico, which left 47 people dead and immense damage to the infrastructure, will create jobs and reactivate the economy because of all the reconstruction needed.
“On the positive side, it is without doubt going to create many jobs – there’s going to be rebuilding, economic activity. Especially in poor, marginalized, low income areas, it’s going to be a positive factor for economic activity and employment,” Slim told a massively attended press conference.
The entrepreneur called the quakes on Sept. 7, 19 and 23 a “great tragedy, very sad,” and noted they also hit Mexico City.
In the capital, where 228 people lost their lives, economic reactivation has not been so apparent because of the dimensions of the metropolis, unlike the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, very poor, vulnerable areas also hit hard by the temblors.
“Economic activity” is assured and “workers will be hired for all the reconstruction and renovation needed for schools, markets and cultural heritage,” he said.
The challenge is to get the reparations done “very quickly,” Slim said, while insisting that the earthquakes will have “very positive effects.”
The magnate owns a fortune estimated at $55 billion and is the sixth richest person on the planet, according to Forbes magazine.
Through his foundation, Slim announced Tuesday that he is donating 1.98 billion pesos ($106 million) added to the donations of other individuals through the foundation for a total of 2.37 billion pesos ($127 million) that will go to those left homeless by the September quakes.
Preliminary estimates by the Mexican government put the cost of reconstruction at 38 billion pesos (some $2 billion).