By Arturo Franco
Starting in 2013, Mexico embarked on what analysts have called “one of the most ambitious reform programs in the world.” Strengthened by an unprecedented political pact between its major parties, Mexico seemed to be entering a long-awaited inflection point. The legislative agenda of the last two years was impressive, with more structural and constitutional amendments approved than in the previous 18 years.
Yet, as the Peña Nieto administration heads into a defining moment, the mid-term congressional elections, there is still little to show for on the economic growth front. Marred in political scandal at home, and with a cloudy external environment, is this the year when Mexico will finally take off?
As a charismatic and fiery candidate in 2012, Enrique Peña Nieto recycled one of the most ingenious political strategies from his time as governor of the state of Mexico: legally rubberstamping his campaign promises to show full commitment. The first of his many presidential promises that year was also the boldest – he vowed to triple Mexico’s meager growth rate – and he signed for it. In other words, he promised a sustained growth of close to six percent per annum during the 2013-2018 period, compared to the lousy two percent average of the last decades.
An economic expansion at the aforementioned rates is not far-fetched for a country with the demographic bonus, natural wealth, trade agreements, and privileged geographic location that Mexico has. Moreover, a …
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