December 4, 2013
Global oil majors from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Chevron Corp. are about to get the clearest indication yet of how far Mexican lawmakers will go to lure them into the largest unexplored crude area after the Artic Circle.
Senate committees will begin debating a bill to end a seven-decade state oil monopoly as soon as today. On the agenda is a proposal by members of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the National Action Party, or PAN, to extend a profit-sharing model unveiled in August by also allowing production sharing or a license model used in Brazil, said two people with knowledge of the talks.
November 22, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/2013.
The 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.
November 15, 2013
The Globe and Mail, 11/15/2013
Just about everything except the mouths of politicians seems to the paralyzed in the U.S. political system, especially Congress. Getting one big thing done seems next to impossible.
In Canada, the government can get things through the Commons and Senate, courtesy of its majority in both houses. But negotiate with the opposition parties? Are you crazy?
In Mexico, by contrast, something remarkable and controversial is unfolding. In less than a year, President Enrique Pena Nieto and his party are negotiating with both other parties in Congress on an array of reforms that would leave the legislatures of Canada and the United States breathless.
September 23, 2013
Have global investors been missing the emerging market right next door? Since a paper in 2001 focused investors’ attention on the BRICs—Brazil, Russia, India and China—those countries’ stock markets, averaged out, have risen about 400 percent. Meanwhile, the exchange of the emerging market at America’s doorstep has risen more than 650 percent. And in a time of dizzying capital flows in emerging markets—draining dry on expectations of the U.S. Fed tightening policy, then sloshing in again when Ben Bernanke on Wednesday unexpectedly kept the monetary fire hose blasting—Mexico looks rock solid by comparison.
September 10, 2013
The Huffington Post, 9/10/2013
The congressional debate on Enrique Peña Nieto’s recently proposed energy reform has not yet begun, but the battle lines have already been drawn between two groups with fundamentally different views on Mexico’s path to prosperity.
In an ideal world, the debate on energy reform should focus on setting a concrete and achievable road map for Pemex’s modernization, as well as defining the limits of the union’s influence.
September 10, 2013
AULA Blog, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University, 9/10/2013
President Peña Nieto’s reformist agenda wins kudos from the business and financial class, but both a recalcitrant leftist opposition and mass organizations previously aligned with his party are taking to the streets in protest – raising serious doubts about its prospects.
Some Mexican commentators say Peña Nieto’s leadership is already losing its shine and that his Pacto por México, the loose coalition he engineered in Congress, is at risk of falling apart.
September 10, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 9/10/2013
Mexico’s finance minister defended plans to increase taxes and boost public spending as part of an effort to revive a slowing economy, even though the plan involves a wider budget deficit next year.
The Mexican government is projecting a fiscal deficit for 2014 equivalent to 3.5% of gross domestic product in order to support growth, which slowed sharply in the first half of this year. The deficit forecast includes financed investment at state oil monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos.”
September 5, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 9/5/2013
Mexico’s Senate overwhelmingly approved a controversial education bill early Wednesday, setting the stage for a fresh round of street protests by teachers’ groups which threaten to block airports, highways and other key economic hubs across the country.
The Senate voted 102-22 to adopt legislation that will make teachers submit to periodic performance exams, which could lead to the dismissal of those who refuse to take them. The bill was already approved by Mexico’s lower house of Congress on Sunday night. The overhaul is supported by Mexico’s main teachers union, known as the SNTE. But it sparked an angry response from a dissident teachers’ group known as the National Coordinator of Educational Workers, or CNTE, which vowed to wage a “national teachers’ insurgency” that has crowded Mexico City’s streets with protests and marches over the past two weeks.
August 19, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 8/18/2013
In politics, as in life, expectations can be destiny. Set them too low and nothing gets done. Too high and even good outcomes can trigger disappointment and endless whining. Miscalculated expectations might explain why some observers are pooh-poohing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s proposal last week to reform his country’s energy sector.
He did not offer the full-blown privatization of the state-owned oil monopoly, Pemex. Nor did he propose removing the constitution’s prohibition against granting concessions for exploration and exploitation by international oil companies. Yet neither shortfall is fatal.
August 13, 2013
Financial Times, 8/12/2013
Is this enough progress? That is the question now that Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has announced his proposal to open his country’s energy industry. Freeing up even a sliver of energy exploration in Mexico is a big step. The day of nationalisation back in 1938 is an observed holiday. And any step towards liberalisation risks immense popular backlash. So President Nieto has tried to split the baby. He has boldly called for amending Mexico’s constitution, which would give the reforms permanence. Although the terms have yet to be worked out, his proposal allows foreign companies only to enter into profit-sharing agreements with Pemex rather than production arrangements where they would have control over the barrels.
Mexico also has relative political stability compared with other areas of the globe where petroleum is sought. Unfortunately, the inefficiency of state-run enterprises has cost Pemex as oil production has fallen from its peak in 2004.