Miami Group Launches with Mexican Finance Minister Agustín Carstens
By Christian Gomez
November 1, 2007
The Inter-American Dialogue launched the Miami Group on
Western Hemisphere Affairs with a dinner on November 1st at the Four
Seasons Hotel in Miami
featuring Mexican Finance Minister Agustín Carstens. Speaking to a group of corporate, financial and civic leaders from South
Florida, Carstens discussed the advances made
since Felipé Calderón's inauguration on December 1, 2006 and the outlook
for the Mexican economy.
The new administration has made significant strides in the
areas of governability, organized crime, and relations with Congress.
Despite a closely contested election, Calderón didn't hesitate to make
“strong decisions” such as deploying the armed forces against drug traffickers.
A year ago few would have thought that Mexico would be as stable as
it is. These efforts are, however, “just the beginning of a long
fight.” Improving security must continue to be a cornerstone of the country’s
faces two key economic questions: 1) how to grow faster; and 2) how to
deal with economic turbulence in the United States. To grow
must promote better functioning markets, seek infrastructure investments, and
open the economy to greater competition. Pension and fiscal reforms
--which Calderón and Congress worked to pass in 2007-- are the first economic
reforms in a decade. Additional fiscal reforms will still be
needed. With the lowest share of non-oil tax revenues in the
world, “Mexico is
addicted to oil from a fiscal point of view.” As a result of already
enacted reforms, Carstens expects projected GDP growth for 2008 to increase
from 3.5 percent to 4 percent. If telecom, energy, and labor reforms
are enacted soon, Mexico
should move closer its rate of growth closer to six percent, where it
Compared to the US
recession in 2001-2002, Mexico
is in a much stronger position today. Back then, fiscal
revenues contracted, oil prices were low, and job
creation declined. This time around fiscal revenues are
increasing, oil prices are high, and jobs are being created. Mexico, in short, should weather current US economic
turbulence much better.
"Agustín Carstens: Newsmaker." Latin Business Chronicle. Joachim Bamrud. November 6, 2007.
"Destinado Reclamo." El Semanario (México). Dolia Estévez. November 8, 2007.