A sense of optimism is sweeping Mexico, a country that is eager to showcase the opportunities it offers investors and is busy preparing its next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders.
Alberto Saavedra, a partner with law firm Santamarina y Steta, is optimistic about the outlook for Mexico. After 30 years of reform and opening up to international trade, the country is now in the enviable position of having excess capital that it is looking to invest across the region. With much in common with its neighbors to the south, and extensive integration with the market to the north, Mexico is poised to forge ahead.
EMBRACING THE WORLD
Saavedra acknowledges that, 30 years ago, the Mexican economy “did not participate in the world. Mexico was not so relevant in the world, and the world was not very relevant in Mexico.” The country was overly dependent on crude oil exports and burdened with public sector companies, many of them highly inefficient. All of that changed in the 1980s. Starting with membership in the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and culminating in NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), Presidents Don Miguel de la Madrid (1982–88) and Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988–94) brought Mexico into full participation in world trade.
As a result, Mexico today is a more mature economy, enjoying trade agreements with all of Western Europe, North and South America, and parts of Asia. If the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) comes about, Mexico will have access to an even greater number of rapidly growing markets.
“The country has been progressing in a very accelerated way. What other countries have done in centuries or in decades is being achieved in much less time in Mexico.”