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Mexico: Strong Business Optimism

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A closer look at the benefits, challenges and outlook for doing business in Mexico.

BY JOACHIM BAMRUD

Felipe Calderon has barely been Mexicos president for six months, but local and foreign investors are impressed and are bullish about the countrys outlook.

"The country’s new, business friendly and reform-minded government has made Mexico even more desirable for business activity," says Thurston R. Hamer, the senior client partner at the Mexico office of US-based Korn/Ferry, the worlds largest executive recruitment firm. "The administration of President Felipe Calderon is committed to push badly needed reforms to fiscal policies, labor regulations and the legal structure, among others, and has made job creation one of the major objectives of its current six-year term, which has just begun.  Calderon’s reputation as a shrewd politician and negotiator, and his early success in dealing with opposition legislators has encouraged businessmen at home and abroad regarding positive projections for the future."

John Bruton, the Mexico-based senior managing director of Manatt Jones Global Strategies, agrees. "Mexico’s new administration is a promising one [and] seems to be emphasizing increasingly good relations between the legislative branch and the executive," he says, alluding to Calderons ability to forge alliances with the opposition PRI party to pass key legislation for social security reform and future fiscal reform. "Mexico’s international prestige as a destination for investment is growing."

U.S.-based Continental Airlines, which flies non-stop to 30 destinations in Mexico from the United States, is also bullish. "The new policies established by President Felipe Calderon are leading Mexico towards growth," says Carlos Enrique Hernandez, the airlines general director in Mexico.

The confidence in Calderon is resulting in record growth in foreign direct...

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