An executive order providing tax incentives to the assembly plants, known as "maquiladoras," operating in Mexico has been extended in an effort to attract more investment and boost job creation.

President Felipe Calderon, who originally signed the executive order in 2008, signed an extension of the benefits on Tuesday to 2013.

Mexico needs "more active maquiladora industries and employment creation with the appropriate tax measures," Calderon said during the signing ceremony.

The manufacturing and export sectors require "a responsible tax policy" that will allow them to "deal with the adverse international situation," the president said.

The executive order covers regulatory reform, simplifies the tariff system and eases the paperwork burden via a virtual office that handles filings electronically.

The goal is to provide "stimulus to strengthen investment and generate more income," Calderon said, adding that assembly firms would be able to "plan their productive projects with more efficiency."

The Unified Business Tax Rate, or IETU, will be calculated "using the same taxable base as the income tax (ISR)," so that "the 6,400 firms in the sector will invest more and create more jobs," the president said.

Mexico's assembly industry has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the past few years due to the global recession and competition from low-cost producers in China and some Central American countries, the National Maquiladora Export Industry Council, or CNIME, said.

The assembly industry "contributes great value added" in sectors like aerospace, electronics, telecommunications and automobiles, Calderon said.

Security must be provided for maquiladoras, especially those in border cities such as Ciudad Juarez, considered Mexico's murder capital, the president said.