Innovation in Mexico: Rays of sunshine among the clouds


Photo: Mexico City. Kasper Christensen/Flickr

2nd April 2018

By Jerry Haar
The Age of Anxiety is a long, six-part poem composed by W.H. Auden in 1947. The title is also an apt description for what Mexicans are experiencing today, as well as foreign companies that do business in and with that nation.
The sources of that anxiety are four-fold. First, there is public safety. Violence in Mexico has reached record levels, eclipsing the cartel wars of 2011, with the homicide rate up 27 percent from last year. Even resort areas such as Cancún and Los Cabos have not escaped the violence, negatively impacting hotel occupancy.
Second is the renegotiation of NAFTA. Whether significant changes are made to the agreement or if it is abrogated altogether, the repercussions for Mexico will be sweeping and devastating. Third, the new U.S. tax law along with interest rate hikes in the U.S. will pressure the Bank of Mexico to raise interest rates, resulting in a slowdown in consumption and investment. Finally, the prospect of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a leftist nationalist-protectionist, as the next president of Mexico, is spooking the private sector at home and abroad. Despite this gloomy scenario, there are a number of positive developments. Mexico is one of the emerging countries most open to foreign investment. The energy sector has been open to FDI, and the country is planning a major expansion of infrastructure.
But perhaps most exciting of all is the widespread growth and rapid expansion of technological innovation across the country and …

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