Chapter 6: Mexico: Current Quarter Forecasts
Alfredo Coutiño THE MEXICAN ECONOMY Mexico is a relatively open economy, but with some degree of regulation, particularly in sectors considered strategic by the government. The country has made important efforts in its transition from a state-regulated to a more open market economy in the past two decades. However, even though the benefits of the changes implemented have been evident, the pace of structural reform has been slow in the past ten years. The country set out on its openness path just a few years after the last episode of nationalization measures occurred in 1982, undertaken in connection with the arrival of the world debt crisis. The financial and economic collapse, and its devastating effects, left the country with few options other than the path of economic openness and deregulation, in order to deal with the stubborn inflation and persistent economic imbalances. The first step in that direction was taken in the mid-1980s, with the country joining the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). A few years later, that measure was followed by an intensive process of privatization of stateowned companies, including the previously nationalized banking system. The next step was the deepening of economic openness through the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, followed by a series of bilateral trade agreements. At the end of the 1990s, the banking system openness was accelerated by allowing foreign investors to participate more in the financial sector. Other minor reforms were also undertaken in the...
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