NEW YORK — Mexican officials moved to reassure international bankers on Wednesday that the debt-burdened country will attempt to solve its economic and fiscal problems in cooperation with the banks holding its nearly $100 billion in foreign debt.
In talks with members of the bank advisory group for Mexico, a committee of 13 major creditor banks that serves as the principal negotiator for institutions with outstanding loans, the Mexican officials said they would be ready soon to start negotiations over the terms of a new $3.5-billion package of bank loans that Mexico wants for the the next 18 months.
In a statement issued Wednesday, William R. Rhodes of Citibank, co-chairman of the bank committee, said Director of Public Credit Angel Gurria had "confirmed" that negotiations with the banks would begin as soon as Mexico "reaches agreement (on an economic plan) with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank."
Last weekend, Mexico and the International Monetary Fund moved close to an agreement to solve the country's debt crisis through economic growth rather than the austerity that has been the hallmark of most IMF agreements in the past. An agreement could occur as soon as next week.