faces big challenges this year. The world economy has changed a lot in the
last years. This forces Mexico to reinvent itself, open markets and economic
liberalization are not enough, and the world competition is fierce. Countries
that a few years ago did not even appear on the map of world economy are now
developing their economies via the Information Technology industry.
To bridge the gap in this new environment, Mexico needs more than business and political leaders with a good knowledge of economics and administration. The environment demands leaders with a strong vision in the future, an extraordinary comprehension of technologies and fast decision making.
Mexicoís president Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon has successfully overcome many difficult challenges in the end of last century. His successor will have to face new ones and definitely will have to give a solution to the unsolved problems which have been left from previous governments.
Three main candidates will contest for the presidency next July. Francisco Labastida from the governing Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) which has ruled Mexico for more than seventy years. Mr. Labastida has a long career as public servant.
Vicente Fox from the National Action Party (PAN). Mr. Fox has a marked pro-business attitude and brought many foreign investments to his state, Guanajuato, when he was Governor. And far from them in the polls, Cuahutemoc Cardenas from the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), who is the son of the extreme popular President Lazaro Cardenas who governed Mexico from 1934 untill 1940. Mr. Cardenas competes for the third time. In his first try in 1988, Mr. Cardenas presumably won the elections, but due to innumerable irregularities the triumph was given to his rival from the PRI.
INVESTING IN MEXICO
Nowadays there are many sources to get informed about investment opportunities. The main rule is to be very well informed. Many niche activities are still virgin in Mexico and the first one to discover them will benefit tremendously. How to find out what the market needs is the duty of the market research firms. Where to invest is also a good point to solve and that depends on the nature of the activity. The different States that belong to the Federation are starting to compete for the foreign investment and they have incentives for new investors.
The industrial development of Mexico has been marked by economical seasons, in bad times only the strong ones persevere. Domestic and foreign companies which are active in Mexico comprehend that the Know-how is a very valuable asset in Mexico. And it's also clear to them that commitment with the country is essential in order to succeed. Good examples of commitment and know-how are ABB and Cruz Azul. One an international firm, the other one a domestic firm, both with very long presence in Mexico and with true commitment to develop themselves and Mexico.
The telecom sector has changed dramatically in the last few years in Mexico. In part because President Zedillo previewed the importance of telecommunications as key for Mexicoís development in the new century. The privatization of the monopoly of public telephone services Telmex was the start. Then the long distance phone service was open for competition and finally the local telephony opened up. New companies have been created to compete in the long distance and local service. Some of them claim that Telmex has still monopoly attitudes, but the truth is that none of them has been able, so far, to equal its strong market share. Wireless telecommunication is even more dynamic. As all over the world wireless communication is the trend, Mexico is not an exception. And the wireless phone users are multiplying by millions.
I.T. is not just the backbone for sectors like telecom that has a natural marriage with it. Almost all the business activities rely nowadays on their I.T. component. Thatís why the importance of this sector is of extreme relevance for the rest of the economy. But I.T. is not a world of machines; moreover I.T. relies completely on people. And people are the ones making it work. Therefore preparing the new generations for this environment is essential. Also technology can deliver education faster to people in remote rural areas. Thatís the way to advance fast in a country like Mexico. Many tasks remain not done, many inhabitants in Mexico lack of health care and education; technology can change their lives. Companies know it; the government is starting to realize it. Both they have to work together to make it happen.