Meet Mexico’s New Innovators

George W. Bush Institute

The two friends, Jaime Rodas and Roberto Hidalgo, inseparable since high school, live in an apartment-turned innovation pad on the edge of a leafy neighborhood in Mexico City. They contribute to Mexico’s big tech inventions, like building websites for social causes that include teaching the public how to hold government accountable.

“People don’t even know who represents them,” Jaime tells me as he walks me through the apartment, with rooms turned into workspaces, laboratories for experiments. “They have no clue who their representatives are, or even what they’re supposed to do, like be their voice.”

The new narrative

Jaime and Roberto, ages 27 and 29, represent a new face of Mexico. They work out of their apartment, which they share with Roberto’s elderly miniature Schnauzer, Dharma. They are part of a generation of young, high-tech millennials, a group that is quietly expanding into an important global force of innovators. Already there are some 600,000 high-tech professionals in Mexico, and about 115,000 engineering and tech students graduate each year – a vast talent pool in the making.

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Take a look at the tool mentioned in the article that helps Mexicans find out who they are represented by and how to contact them!

Mexico’s Alfa Out of Pacific Exploration Restructuring

4/14/2016 The Wall Street Journal

energy - oil barrelsMEXICO CITY—Mexican industrial conglomerate Alfa SAB  made proposals for a restructuring of Canadian-Colombian oil firm Pacific Exploration & Production Corp. but is no longer involved in the process, a company official said Thursday.

Monterrey-based Alfa, which has a 19% stake in Pacific, made serious proposals for improving Pacific’s financial situation, but the oil company chose a different route, Alfa chief financial officer Ramón Leal said in a conference call with reporters.

Pacific said earlier Thursday that it agreed to negotiate a restructuring with private-equity investment firm Catalyst Capital Group Inc. and with creditors, following a recommendation from an independent committee of Pacific’s board. Terms are still being worked on and there is no assurance a deal will be reached.

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Why Is Ford Motors Increasing Its Investment In Mexico?

4/14/2016 Forbes

13646484033_641c72931e_mFord Motors‘ recently announced that it is investing $1.6 billion in a new plant in Mexico to produce more small cars. While construction of the new plant is expected to begin in the summer of 2016, production will start from 2018. Ford did not specify the vehicles which will be produced in this plant. Mexico is Ford’s fourth largest vehicle manufacturing site for global customers and the company has been manufacturing vehicles in this region since 1925. Given the lower cost of manufacturing in Mexico, Ford’s investment in a new plant in this country is aimed towards boosting profitability in the small car segment and we believe this is a positive development for its shareholders.

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Mexico industrial output dips in February on building slump

4/11/2016 Reuters

factory

MEXICO CITY – Mexican industrial output dipped less than expected in February as construction contracted sharply but factory production picked up, data showed on Monday.

Industrial output fell 0.1 percent from January in seasonally adjusted terms, the national statistics agency said, compared to expectations for a 0.35 percent drop in a Reuters poll.

Among the components of industrial output, the construction sector fell 2.5 percent month-on-month after posting a big increase in January.

Factory production rose 0.5 percent in February compared to January. Mexico exports mostly factory goods and it sends nearly 80 percent to the United States. Uneven U.S. demand weighed on growth in Latin America’s No. 2 economy last year.

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Weak peso? No problem — at least for everyone else

4/3/2016 CNBC

6732357797_64d2ba3cdc_mWhen is a historically weak foreign exchange rate not a major concern for the world at large? Apparently, when that country is Mexico.

Since the start of the year, the U.S.’s neighbor to the South has seen its peso sink to historical lows — prompting the hasty intervention of Mexico’s policymakers to smooth out the volatility.

The currency’s faltering fortunes have tracked other battered emerging market (EM) currencies hit by the global commodities downturn, yet the peso has still largely fared better than other EM currencies. The MSCI Mexico Index has outperformed the broader MSCI EM Index by 12 percent in local currency terms since October 2014, according to data from investment advisory firm DDCapital. That was at a time when the peso slumped nearly 30 percent against the dollar.

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NAFTA May Have Saved Many Autoworkers’ Jobs

3/29/2016 The New York Times

When Donald Trump threatened to “break” the North American Free Trade Agreement, auto industry workers offered up some of the loudest cheers.

Mr. Trump easily won the Republican primary in Michigan this month. The state, home base for the American auto industry, also delivered an upset victory to Bernie Sanders, the Democratic anti-Nafta standard-bearer.

But the autoworkers’ animosity is aiming at the wrong target. There are still more than 800,000 jobs in the American auto sector. And there is a good case to be made that without Nafta, there might not be much left of Detroit at all.

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How an Overlooked Impact of Mexico’s Drug Violence is Holding Back its Economy

3/19/16 Business Insider

The war on drugs that has raged across Mexico over the past decade has led to the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of thousands of people.

The human costs of the drug war and related violence are well known, but the chilling effect on Mexico’s economic vitality has been harder to measure.

Recent research has shown that high levels of violence in Mexico — like the 7.6% increase in homicide rate the country experienced in 2015 — not only have a negative impact on workers, but also prevent complex economic activities from starting and growing.

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