New Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will have a big advantage over his two most recent predecessors - he's lucky.
Pena Nieto, 46, a politician from the traditionally authoritarian
Just like South American countries that enjoyed a great ride in recent years thanks to high world commodity prices, Mexico seems now poised to benefit from a major increase in manufacturing exports and investments in coming years.
Consider some of the things that work in Mexico's favor:
_After its worst economic crisis in recent memory, the U.S. economy is likely to grow slowly but steadily over the next two years, and - if the
_Growing numbers of multinational companies, including automakers and technology firms, are moving their production facilities from China to Mexico because of the rising labor costs in China. According to a
I witnessed firsthand how expensive China has become on a trip there last month, when I paid
_Mexico may benefit from President Barack Obama's proposed
The TPP would allow Mexico to update its 1994 free trade agreement with the United States and Canada, and get preferential access to South East Asian markets.
For the first time in more than two decades, the United States is likely to pass a major immigration reform, which would benefit millions of Mexicans on both sides of the border.
Domestically, Pena Nieto will benefit from the labor reform passed by the
This is likely to further attract domestic and foreign investments, and removes a politically thorny issue from Pena Nieto's agenda, making it easier for him to focus on energy and fiscal reforms.
Pena Nieto will benefit from a significant change in the international drug policy debate. The
In an interview in Mexico City a few weeks after his election, Pena Nieto told me that his main priority on the narcotics front will be "reducing violence," especially drug cartel-related mass murders, kidnappings and extortion.
"Overall, we have good reasons to be optimistic," says Gabriel Casillas, chief economist of Mexico's
My opinion: Granted, Pena Nieto will also face many obstacles to turn Mexico into Latin America's new economic star, including his own party's close ties with corrupt labor leaders and some excessively powerful business tycoons. But if Mexico fails to grow substantially and further reduce poverty over the next six years, he will have nobody to blame but himself.
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