Idelfonso Guajardo
Minister of Economy
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Ensuring Mexico's International Competitiveness

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 12:45

Q: How is the Ministry of Economy ensuring Mexico remains a competitive destination for FDI?

A: Mexico is among the most open economies to international trade and investment. The set of structural reforms carried out by President Peña Nieto’s administration have paved the way to attract domestic and foreign investments in strategic sectors. The Ministry of Economy has implemented several measures to ease doing business in Mexico. For example, it has worked to reduce regulations and facilitate investment in sectors where FDI was previously restricted, such as telecommunications and energy; it has increased accessibility and transparency at the Public Registry of Commerce and Property and we have promoted the use of electronic platforms to ease processes related to FDI registry.

Q: What are the government’s priorities for establishing trade agreements with Asian and Latin American countries?

A: The Asia-Pacific region is a priority for Mexico. However, since TPP’s entry into force is uncertain, Mexico is exploring alternate paths. For instance, in March 2017 in Viña del Mar, Chile, the Pacific Alliance established the “Associate State” category, with the objective of negotiating trade agreements with countries in the Asia Pacific region. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore are the first 4 candidates to become Associate States of the Pacific Alliance. Within the framework of APEC, leaders of the Pacific Alliance engaged in two discussions with Asian economies in which they explored common cooperation areas, namely SMEs and trade facilitation.

Q: What strategies does the government plan to implement to help companies diversify their operations outside the US?

A: President Peña Nieto’s administration expects to diversify Mexico’s trade agenda with potential markets. We are modernizing our 15-year-old trade agreements with both the EU and the European Free Trade Association countries. In Latin America, we are deepening existing agreements with Brazil, Argentina and the Pacific Alliance.

Q: What strategies is the Ministry of Economy following to relaunch and position the Hecho en México program?

A: In the last two decades, Mexico’s global integration has been a keystone for economic growth. We certainly want more Mexican products to be exported but at the same time we want to consolidate our domestic market. Hecho en México aims to foster national production and competitiveness, as well as being a symbol of confidence and high quality for consumers. The Ministry of Economy, through ProMéxico, is promoting the program beyond Mexico’s borders. At the end of April 2017, I visited Hannover, Germany, to attend a ceremony where Mexico was formally announced as the partner country for the Hannover Messe 2018. Being the most important manufacturing event worldwide, the fair will be a major window to promote the Hecho en México program and portray Mexico’s innovative products, processes and industries.

Q: What initiatives is the Ministry of Economy favoring to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem?

A: An example of the Ministry of Economy’s efforts to support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is the role of the Federal Commission for Regulatory Improvement (COFEMER) in reducing the regulatory burden and unnecessary bureaucratic procedures. One of the most meaningful measures undertaken is the 2x1 regulation scheme. Through this scheme, all public agencies wanting to implement a new regulation that implies costs for the population are obliged to eliminate two existing regulations. Another example is ProMéxico’s involvement in promoting exports from Mexican MSMEs. These companies are offered consultancy from trade experts who facilitate the completion of export requirements to foreign markets. Additionally, ProMéxico undertakes promotional activities to increase the visibility of products and services from MSMEs abroad. In terms of international trade, we have strived to include specific chapters on MSMEs into our most recent FTAs, such as the Pacific Alliance and the TPP. We will do the same while updating NAFTA.