U.S. industrial giant 3M Co. plans to invest $400 million over the next three years in three research centers in Mexico, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said.

"This investment, made today in this research and development center, comes as part of an investment project shared with us by 3M for the next two-and-a-half years, three (years), of $400 million to open two more manufacturing centers," the president said during the inauguration Tuesday of a research center in San Luis Potosi state.

The Minnesota-based company is showing its confidence in Mexico by developing the talents and creativity "of Mexican women and men who are going to develop new patents" at the research center, Peña Nieto told an audience that included 3M senior vice president of corporate supply chain operations Christopher David Holmes.

The planned R&D investment by 3M, which employs 7,000 people and has operations in seven Mexican states, will allow Mexico to become an incubator for new products made by the diversified industrial company around the world, Peña Nieto said.

The R&D center employed 17 researchers at the end of 2012 and expects to boost that number to 70 by the end of 2017, San Luis Potosi Gov. Fernando Toranzo said. EFE