1/24/97 -- 12:51 PM


CANCUN, Mexico (AP) - Mexico has attained a measure of financial stability but still faces a host of economic problems, the nation's Treasury secretary says.

Guillermo Ortiz says the nation needs to, among other things, boost domestic savings and investment, spend more on education and vocational training and attain greater access to international capital markets.

He spoke Thursday to a group of regional finance ministers and corporate executives attending a conference in this Caribbean beach resort, organized by Santander Investment.

The conference was closed to reporters but Santander released an outline of his remarks.

Two years ago, Mexico was plunged into its worst economic crisis in half a century. The peso currency lost around half its value in relation to the dollar, and interest rates tripled. Thousands of businesses folded, and more than 1.5 million people were thrown out of work.

President Clinton put together a $50 billion emergency aid package, with the United States contributing $20 billion. It included $17 billion in credits from the International Monetary Fund, the biggest loan in its history.

Mexico used only $13.5 billion of the U.S. pledge, and earlier this month it repaid the loan ahead of schedule. It also prepaid the IMF $1.5 billion.

Ortiz told the Santander conference, according to the press release, that the turnaround in Mexico's international credit standing was brought about through fiscal and monetary discipline, including ``effective debt management.''

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