Economic Growth in Mexico
More and more articles and authors are optimistic about the economic growth in Mexico. “Today, Mexico exports more manufactured products than the rest of Latin America put together,” The Financial Times reported on Sept. 19, 2012. “Chrysler, for example, is using Mexico as a base to supply some of its Fiat 500s to the Chinese market.” What struck me most here in Monterrey, though, is the number of tech start-ups that are emerging from Mexico’s young population — 50 percent of the country is under 29 — thanks to cheap, open source innovation tools and cloud computing.
Mexico has signed 44 free trade agreements — more than any country in the world — which, according to The Financial Times, is more than twice as many as China and four times more than Brazil. Mexico has also greatly increased the number of engineers and skilled laborers graduating from its schools. Put all that together with massive cheap natural gas finds, and rising wage and transportation costs in China, and it is no surprise that Mexico now is taking manufacturing market share back from Asia and attracting more global investment than ever in autos, aerospace and household goods.
Pulitzer Prize winning, Thomas Friedman, a world-renowned author, including the World is Flat, and economist, has jumped on the bandwagon of many other Newspapers in declaring Mexico as the new China. This is the fourth such article I’ve read in the Wall St. Journal, NY Times and others. A brief summary of today’s article by Friedman says: Something happened here. It’s as if Mexicans subconsciously decided that their drug-related violence is a condition to be lived with and combated but not something to define them any longer.
“Mexico did not waste its crisis,” remarked Patrick Kane Zambrano, director of the Center for Citizen Integration, referring to the fact that when Mexican companies lost out to China in the 1990s, they had no choice but to get more productive. Zambrano’s Web site embodies the youthful zest here for using technology to both innovate and stimulate social activism
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