Carlos Slim on Trump’s border wall plans: ‘The best wall is investment’ | World news


    The Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim has criticized Donald Trump’s plans for a border wall, saying that frontier security would be better achieved through investment and job creation in Mexico.

    “The best wall is investment, development and employment opportunities,” said Slim, speaking to reporters at a rare press conference. “People leave Mexico in search of opportunities, not because they’re tourists.”

    Slim repeatedly lauded Trump on Friday as “a great negotiator” while quoting liberally from his book Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America.

    Speaking at the end of a week in which relations between the two countries have slumped to a new low, Slim downplayed the potential threat that the Trump administration represents for Mexico.

    “Trump is not the Terminator. He’s Negotiator,” Slim said. “I don’t see risks. I see opportunity.”

    But he offered a subtle critique of the US president’s professed plan to “make America great again”, saying “returning to a glorious past of American industry that made them the world leader in the 20th century will not work”.

    He added: “Mexico is the best partner the US has and also the most complementary” and said Mexican workers were excellent and earned “less” than their counterparts in China.

    Slim’s companies in telecommunications, retailing and constructions pervade everyday life in Mexico and he exerts an outsized influence in the country.

    Observers said his press performance Friday – in which he was jovial and often light in his answers – suggested that Slim was positioning himself as a potential interlocutor with the Trump…

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