EXECUTIVE LECTURE FORUM: Activities: 2001: Abstract: Mancera
April 26, 2001Minister Javier Mancera
Minister Javier Mancera
, Director of the Trade and NAFTA Office, Embassy of Mexico, Washington, D.C.

Minister Javier Mancera, Director with the NAFTA office of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington DC, offered an in-depth analysis of Mexico’s economic situation and concentrated on NAFTA’s achievement from the Mexican point of view. He emphasized that during the last ten years, Mexico has worked very hard to establish a network of free trade agreements that guarantee access to our exports. This network of free trade agreements has transformed Mexico into a strategic investment location in which foreign companies enjoy secured access to Mexican markets, of course, including the United States.  The Minister continued by emphasizing that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) became effective in 1994 and Mexico, of course, joined this free trade agreement that covers trade in both goods and services as well as in investment disciplines, intellectual property rights and dispute settlement mechanism. After seven years, Mexico became the second largest trading partner to the U.S., displacing Japan, whose GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is ten times higher than Mexico’s.  NAFTA indeed had promoted U.S.-Mexico trade in unprecedented ways. Just to mention, that by the end of 2000, Mexico-U.S. trade reached a record high of 263 billion dollars, an increase of more than 130% since 1993. NAFTA has also brought Canada and Mexico economies closer together.

The Minister spent a considerable time speaking about Mississippi-Mexico trade. According to his figures, Mississippi’s exports to Mexico were 461 million dollars. Hundreds of Mississippi companies export their products to the Mexican markets. Also, many Mississippi companies have invested in Mexico and are manufacturing there in order to penetrate the domestic market or for worldwide exports. Mexico ranks as the second largest market for goods from Mississippi.

At the end of his lecture, Minister Mancera spoke about economic growth in his country. In 2000, he said the Mexican economy grew by 6.9% of the GDP. This year the economic growth will be, in his estimate, between 3.5 to 4.5% of the GDP, reflecting the economic slowdown of the U.S. economy on which Mexico depends upon a great deal. Mexico went to the polls last July to elect a new President, said the Minister, a new Congress, and several local governments. The winner of the presidential election was Vicente Fox. He took office last December and he continues his open economic policies, sound fiscal programs and so far, he is successful to strengthen the Mexican economy.  The new President is enjoying substantial public support in Mexico and abroad thus Mexico participation in the global market under the new President is bring enormous benefits to his country. In addition, NAFTA provides not only Canada and the U.S. but also Mexico an extremely efficient economic vehicle to overcome external shocks and lead the country toward prosperity.

İ 2003 The Radványi Chair in International Security Studies, Mississippi State University.
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