Mexicans grow impatient with Peña Nieto as violence flares

5/3/2016 Financial Times

peña-nietoYoung and debonair, Enrique Peña Nieto was the fresh face of a tarnished old party when he became Mexico’s president.

In his first two years he pushed through ambitious reforms in energy and telecommunications, the financial sector and education, designed to unleash investment, boost competition and power growth.

But three and a half years after his election, the economy is stubbornly tepid, while scandals and rising violence have helped knock 9 percentage points off Mr Peña Nieto’s popularity rating so far this year.

Only 30 per cent of Mexicans approve of the job he is doing, according to a recent poll published in the newspaper Reforma. That is lower than Ernesto Zedillo’s ratings in 1995, when a crisis led the economy to slump 6.9 per cent that year.

Read more…

Young Entrepreneurs: Will They Fix Mexico’s Economy?

4/29/2016 Gallup 

businessThe Mexican economy faces numerous challenges, including a large informal sector, the global decline of oil prices and other socioeconomic factors. Amid these challenges, Mexico’s economy has close ties to the international and U.S. economies.

What’s more, in 2015, only 27% of Mexico’s adult population reported having a good job, which Gallup defines as 30 or more hours of work per week for an employer who provides a regular paycheck.

One way that the country can confront those challenges is by promoting entrepreneurship, which would help boost its employment opportunities and economy. Mexico City — one of the most densely populated regions in Mexico, with a population of over 21 million people in the metropolitan area — is doing just this, and it’s looking to the next generation of entrepreneurs for help.

Read more… 

Mexico justice reform needs 11 years to fully take hold: study

5/4/2016 Reuters 

justice - gavelMexico’s new accusatory justice system, which has been in the works for eight years and is due to be implemented by next month, needs 11 more years to take hold properly, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Implementation of the criminal justice reform, which has a constitutional deadline of June 18, has introduced oral trials and aims to overhaul an antiquated, dysfunctional system that leaves some perpetrators unpunished and suspects languishing in prison awaiting trial for years.

However, the study by Mexican think tank CIDAC said that, after the implementation deadline, the justice system would still be held back by challenges such as training police to conduct high-quality investigations.

Read more…

UPCOMING EVENT | Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America

power playWHEN: Tuesday, May 10, 9:00-10:30 AM

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Canada Institute, and the International Monetary Fund are pleased to invite you to our launch of the book “Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America.” Despite the recent fall in energy prices, fuller development of energy resources in North America has potentially important implications for global energy markets and the competitiveness of North American manufacturing industries. The book “Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America” describes the transformation of the energy landscape in North America due to the upsurge in unconventional energy production since the mid-2000s and tells the story of the energy-manufacturing nexus from the perspective of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and the region as a whole. Based on the research done at the International Monetary Fund, the book discusses the energy boom and its macroeconomic implications for the three countries individually and for the region overall, exploring also how the changing energy landscape can affect the potential benefits of greater integration across the three North American economies.

Keynote Speaker

Alejandro Werner
Director, Western Hemisphere Department
International Monetary Fund

Additional Speakers

Carlos Hurtado
Alternate Executive Director for Mexico
International Monetary Fund

Jim Prentice
Global Fellow, Canada Institute, Wilson Center
Former Premier of Alberta
Former Minister of the Environment, Canada

Meg Lundsager
Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center
Former U.S. Executive Director and Alternate Executive Director, International Monetary Fund

Moderator

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

U.S. anti-trade shift would hit world economy: Mexico’s Guajardo

5/2/2016 Reuters

us mex flagThe more protectionist trade policy being pushed by U.S. presidential candidates could lead America to renege on global trade agreements and deal a blow to the world economy, Mexico’s economy minister said on Monday.

While not naming candidates, Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo referred to a proposal by Republican front runner Donald Trump to levy a 35-percent tariff on many Mexican goods, which Guajardo said would violate World Trade Organization agreements and spark chaos if enacted.

“[It] will mean that you are willing to depart and break with the world trading system,” Guajardo told Reuters in an interview.

Read more…

Mexico City’s grandest neighbourhood is back in vogue

5/3/2016 The Guardian

6142323949_5d5f048f77_m.jpgIt’s morning in Mexico City, and the traffic on Avenida Reforma, the city’s central artery, is in full flow, interspersed only by tamale carts dashing madly into the path of oncoming cars. A block away, its entrance guarded by two of the city’s landmark skyscrapers, Torre Mayor and Torre Bancomer, is Colonia Juárez, once the grande dame of Mexico City neighbourhoods, and now making a long-awaited comeback.

A few kilometres west of the historic centre, Juárez used to be the grandest colonial in the city. Local architect Rutilo Rojas says: “At the tail end of the  porfiriato [when Porfirio Díaz ruled Mexico, 1876-1911], wealthy families built enormous French-influenced mansions in Juárez, and lived there until the mid-century’s new urban developments began. Many demolished their mansions and replaced them with office blocks, which were easier to rent out.”

The horrific earthquake of 1985 sent the area into further decline. In the 1980s and 90s, a small pocket of Juárez, Zona Rosa, became a centre for the city’s gay scene, full of clubs and restaurants, but the rest of the area lay dormant. Now, developers such as regeneration specialist ReUrbano are helping restore its beautiful architecture. A wave of openings over the past six months has seen interest in Juárez reach fever pitch. Havre 77 is an oyster bar and restaurant from feted young chef Lalo García; other new spots include Lucerna Comedor, Teo Luncheonette, Taberna Luciferina, Osteria Isabella and Kyo Sushi. Milan 44 is an “urban market” where people can go for excellent coffee and cheese, a beard trim or a yoga class. In the past three years, three of Mexico City’s most exciting contemporary art galleries – José García, Marso and Karen Huber – have opened in Juárez.

Read more…

Soda Sales in Mexico Rise Despite Tax

5/3/2016 The Wall Street Journal

226338682_3aa20e7b5e_m.jpgSales of soda are climbing two years after Mexico imposed a roughly 10% tax on sugary drinks—a bright spot for an industry that has feared it could be cast as the next tobacco.

Mexico’s tax was an attempt to cap alarming obesity and diabetes rates in a country where per-capita soda consumption is the highest in the world. It came at a time when then Mayor Michael Bloombergwas trying to limit sales of the beverages in New York City, and more countries are weighing a similar tax.

Purchases, however, are rising in Mexico after an initial drop, making the country a key-growth market again for soda giants Coca-Cola Co.and PepsiCo Inc. Underscoring the resiliency of sugary drinks, the tax of one peso per liter has raised more than $2 billion since January 2014, about a third more than the government expected.

Read more…