New Publication: Fostering Innovation in Mexico

December 10, 2014

Innovation2Mexicans are creative and entrepreneurial. Some of the world’s most notable and widely-used technologies have their roots in Mexico. Mexican chemist, Luis Miramontes, for instance, co-invented the progestin used in the first contraceptive pills. Mexican engineer, Guillermo González Camarena received the world’s first patent for the color television. And Mexican writer, Victor Celorio invented InstaBook, the technology that produces a perfect-bound book in one step and just two minutes. Mexico has a fine tradition of science and innovation, and President Enrique Peña Nieto is right to say, “Mexico should recognize, value, and take advantage of the great value of our human resources.” It is the Mexican entrepreneur that has been and will continue to be the strength of the nation’s economy and the driver of innovation.

To increase understanding of the benefits and challenges of innovation and to aid in the development of policy recommendations that encourage innovation in Mexico, the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars held a High-Level Innovation Forum for Policymakers in November 2013. The forum covered several topics related to innovation, including: entrepreneurship, financing innovative businesses, regulation, spillovers between universities and companies and the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Questions examined at the forum included: How has the global economy changed, and what does it mean for innovation? How should we be thinking about innovation? What conditions are necessary for innovation to thrive? How can we attract greater investment for innovation activities? What types of government policies and regulations can strengthen innovation? How can we better integrate science and technology into practical applications? What are the barriers to innovation, and how can we overcome them? This publication summarizes the main themes of the conference and highlights some lessons learned. The purpose of this paper is to aid in ongoing dialogue, the next stage of which will take place in Washington, DC in November, 2014 (The publication is available both in English and Spanish).

Read the publication here.


Mexico’s economy to grow nearly 4 pct in 2014, report says

December 11, 2013

Global Post, 12/9/2013

drawing bar chartMexico’s economy will rebound in 2014 and grow 3.9 percent, compared to the 1.2 percent growth registered in 2013, insurer Credito y Caucion said in a report released Monday. “Mexico will be the exception in a changing pattern of growth in which the advanced markets will grow more while the emerging (markets) will continue leveling off” in 2014, Credito y Caucion said.

The company is a unit of Grupo Atradius, which operates in 45 countries. Mexico’s economy will rebound because of “its unique relationship with the United States,” the destination for nearly 80 percent of Mexican exports, Credito y Caucion said.

Read more…


North American Competitiveness: The San Diego Agenda

November 26, 2013

energy- oil pumps 2By Laura Dawson, Christopher Sands, and Duncan Wood

The San Diego Agenda came out of the North American Competitiveness and Innovation Conference (NACIC) held in San Diego October 27-29, 2013 where Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast, Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo and U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker met to discuss “three countries, two borders, one economy.” In this publication, Duncan Wood, Chris Sands and Laura Dawson argue that North American economic integration must be deepened in order to compete more effectively globally.
Read the full publication here.

Mexico Economic Bounce Aids Leader’s Overhaul Effort

November 22, 2013

The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/2013.

drawing bar chartThe struggling Mexican economy bounced back in the third quarter after a decline in the previous three months, taking some pressure off President Enrique Peña Nieto as he tries to improve the country’s competitiveness through ambitious overhauls.

The government’s statistics institute said economic output grew 0.8% seasonally adjusted from the second quarter, which translates into a 3.4% annualized growth rate.

Read more…


Mexican peso at crossroads between reform rally, Fed taper

July 19, 2013

financeReuters, 7/18/2013

For those who like volatility, there’s money to be made on the Mexican peso. It could rally on the hopes of a more robust future for Latin America’s second-biggest economy. Or it might get hammered by U.S. Federal Reserve policy moves. Maybe both will happen in the next six months.

While other regional economies are suffering from China’s slowing demand for commodities, Mexico is humming along. Factory exports to the United States are seen picking up and a series of economic reforms has investors seeing a brighter future.

Read more…


Why Mexico Will Be Latin America’s Tech Leader

June 25, 2013

typing on computer keyboardABC News/Univision, 6/25/2013

A global race is on to create the next Silicon Valley, and Latin America is rapidly embracing technology and innovation as it vies to be the epicenter of the next tech boom. The stakes aren’t trivial. It’s clear that the countries that can develop new ideas and technology will be the economic winners of the 21st century. That’s why the Brazilian government, for instance, recently launched Startup Brazil, a business accelerator that aims to attract local and foreign talent to build tech companies in Brazil.

The program, which will provide entrepreneurs with up to $100,000 in grant money as well as office space and access to investors, is modeled after Startup Chile, the pioneering business accelerator launched by the Chilean government a few years ago. Chile was the first Latin American country to focus on attracting startups and developing an ecosystem of innovators. Other countries in the region, like Colombia and Peru, have followed their lead.

Read more…


How immigration reform might also spur young Americans to study math, science

June 10, 2013

shutterstock_49761472The Christian Science Monitor, 6/8/2013

Tucked into immigration reform legislation in both chambers of Congress are little-noticed measures that could pump hundreds of millions of dollars into cultivating a new generation of American students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (or STEM). Such a move could help shore up what much of corporate America and many lawmakers see as a glaring deficiency in the nation’s long-term economic competitiveness.

The bills offer at least $200 million per year (but perhaps as much as $700 million, advocates say) by channeling fees from high-skilled visas into investments in STEM education and job training. Specifically, legislators would increase the fee that employers pay to sponsor high-skilled temporary workers (visas known as H-1Bs) and direct $1,000 of that bump toward a special “STEM fund.” The fund would also be supported by an additional $1,000 cost to employers looking to sponsor H-1B workers for permanent residence in the United States.

Read more…


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