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- 03-21-2005, 04:19 PM #1
EXPERT AIR WORRIES ON MEXICAN ECONOMY
LINK to Story
By Diane Lindquist
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 19, 2005
Mexico has failed to sustain the economic and political advances promised a decade ago by the North American Free Trade Agreement and the election more than five years ago of a president from an opposition party, several Mexico experts declared yesterday.
Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, in his first public address in San Diego, warned that economic inequities and a lack of understanding between San Diego and Tijuana could be detrimental to the entire region.
"If we have such a big difference between one city and the other, it's going to be a crisis," Hank said at the Mexico Business Center's economic review in downtown San Diego. The center is part of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The California economy is 60 times larger than that of Baja California, noted Raul RodrĂƒÂ*guez, director of the North American Development Bank. Per capita income in San Diego is five times larger than per capita income in many Mexican border communities.
"If integration is going to be conducive to prosperity, this needs to be addressed," he said.
RodrĂƒÂ*guez listed other situations he called troubling. Among them:
The U.S.-Mexico border population is increasing too fast. "In 15 years, the border will grow by 15 to 24 million people," he said.
Growth is surpassing the infrastructure that supports it. There has been a dramatic decrease in government investment in infrastructure, RodrĂƒÂ*guez said, and it's not being replaced by private investment.
Mexico's north is far richer than the southern part of the country. Since NAFTA, he said, private investment in the border states has increased 33 percent and only 0.1 percent in the south.
Mexico is the only country in the world in which most of the energy sector is closed to private investment. "Our natural gas reserves are not being exploited. We're relying on foreign sources," he said.
The number of Mexican students studying in U.S. colleges and universities ranks seventh behind India, China, Korea, Japan, Canada and Taiwan. Of U.S. students abroad, only 5 percent go to Mexico.
Mexico's global competitiveness has dropped. The United States now receives more imports from China than Mexico. Productivity is growing in China and flattening in Mexico, he said.
"The world is not static. China is making progress, and it is at the expense of Mexico," RodrĂƒÂ*guez said. "We need a renewed sense of urgency along with a clear direction."
Many are looking ahead to Mexico's presidential election in 2006, said Jeffrey Davidow, president of the Institute of the Americas at UCSD. But he warned against high expectations. He noted that President Vicente Fox, the National Action Party, or PAN, candidate who was the first member of the opposition to officially capture the presidency in seven decades, has not been successful in introducing reforms.
The structure of the federal government hasn't changed, but governors and mayors have been given more tax resources and, thus, power, Davidow said.
"Whoever is elected president Ă¢â‚¬â€œ given the way seats are apportioned Ă¢â‚¬â€œ will face a situation in which he will have a minority in Congress. If he is not very skillful," he said, "the same kind of paralysis . . . will take place."
Luis de la Calle, a business consultant and former Mexican undersecretary of commerce, said the greatest hope for Mexico and its binational relations with the United States is the country's growing middle class.
"We first need to convince society at large that Mexico should be a developed country," de la Calle said. "It is the middle class that will decide the election. And the candidate that will win is the one that can define Mexico's future."
Hank, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party who last year defeated the PAN Tijuana mayoral candidate, said he is taking a number of actions himself to bring the two sides of the local border together. A top priority is to increase security.
"We're launching a program to make you feel safe, to make you feel welcome," he said. "We will always have an open border for you . . . not only for tourism or for investment but for everything."
Diane Lindquist: (619) 293-1812; firstname.lastname@example.org
SO IF NAFTA IS NOT WORKING, THAT MEANS ALL OF MILLIONS OF JOBS WE LOST TO MEXICO WAS FOR NOTHING......
I'M TIRED..............MY BRAIN IS REALLY HURTING......
Edit: Link by Mr_Magoo
- 03-21-2005, 04:40 PM #2
"I'M TIRED..............MY BRAIN IS REALLY HURTING......"
If this subject doesn't give you brain drain, nothing will!! LOL!Want to make people angry? Lie to them.
Want to make them absolutely livid? Tell 'em the truth."