Pemex, the state-owned oil company of Mexico, has inked an MoU with South Korea’s ECA Kexim that could be worth US$2bn.

The agreement states that a credit line of US$2bn will be available to Pemex to finance projects, should they use it to purchase Korean goods and services.

In a statement, Pemex says that the agreement gives it “a new financing option for the realisation of new projects to increase production and profitability of the company, and that is reflected in improved living conditions of Mexicans, as well as employment generation”.

Pemex has been in the news frequently in recent months. Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, is keen to oversee the privatisation of Pemex – a move he believes will be “transformational” for Mexico’s economy.

Nieto has claimed that the government can’t continue to make the investment required to maintain Pemex’s operations.

Speaking to GTR, economist David Rees of Capital Economics says that such reforms would make Pemex more efficient. He continues: “The government has been willing to sacrifice other reforms to push the reform of Pemex through. And then you’ve had the reform in the labour market, improve competition, there’s a banking bill on the table… there’s going to be a tax reform as well. The government has some of the really difficult decisions taken, but it’s the biggest set of reforms in 20 to 30 years and is positive for the economy.”

Most Mexicans, however, are opposed to the selling of Pemex. A recent poll showed that 65% of all citizens wished to keep the organisation – the world’s seventh largest oil producer – in the public sector.

Political opponents to the move have advocated giving the company tax breaks required to make up the shortfall, rather than selling it off to the highest bidder.

Nieto is hoping to progress privatisation plans before the end of the year.