MEXICO CITY, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday said he was "optimistic" that a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would be reached by August.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an industry event, the president said his optimism was based on the fact that the three parties to the deal, including Canada and the United States, have all pledged to speed up the negotiations.
Pena Nieto said that even though some clauses pending there were unacceptable, he still believes "there is a frankly very promising horizon."
"What is clear is that today, the three governments have committed to seeking the possibility of speeding up. We will reach an agreement as long as the conditions are favorable for all three countries," he added.
Negotiating teams on Friday wrapped up two days of negotiations in Washington in a bid to reach consensus on issues that have slowed the talks since they began in August of last year.
Mexico's business sector also expressed optimism that the talks were moving in the right direction, after disagreements led to a lull in negotiations in May.
The president of Mexico's Business Coordinating Council, Juan Pablo Castanon, told reporters in a conference call there was a clear interest in reaching an accord by August.
"The atmosphere is good. There is reason to think that we are walking along the right path," he said, adding "the belief is that this window of opportunity would close in August," so "there is a willingness" to speed things up.
Both Mexico and Canada have so far refused to accept U.S. demands for substantial changes to existing rules of origin in the automotive industry, among others.