Patrick’s Monday Vista #8-¡Viva México!
If you were asked where in the world there is most at stake geopolitically you might be inclined to point to the Middle East, Russia or the Korean Peninsula. However, none of these places has the potential to affect the world’s premier power the United States in the same way as does Mexico. Something that is overlooked by many is that the future success of Mexico as it endeavours to take its place among the most developed countries of the world will be one of unsuspected global impact.
A stable, democratic and prosperous Mexico has the potential to integrate the North American continent and enable the US to continue to be the engine of the world economy and a balancing force on the world stage. On the other hand, were Mexico to degenerate into a chaotic and ungovernable narco-state sharing a 2000 mile border with the US, this would seriously curtail America’s future capacity to project its political, economic and military power.
Consequently, the entire world has a stake and a vested interest in the stability and prosperity of Mexico and its ongoing transition into a modern, functional democracy under the rule of law. Despite the high profile drugs war waged by successive Mexican presidents on the cartels in which tens of thousands have died, if we look at the overall picture and take a longer term perspective the signs are good that Mexico can go on to live up toits true potential.
Today, Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world with an estimated population in 2015 of 120 million that has increased 5 times over since 1940. Since the recession of 2008-2009, Mexico has averaged a growth rate of over 3% between 2010 and 2014 and is set to benefit from the current resurgence of the US economy, its main trading partner. Mexico is currently the world’s 15th largest economy with a GDP of over $1.2 trillion and possesses dynamic electronic, automotive and telecoms sectors and has firmly established itself as an upper middle income country with a burgeoning urban middle class. Goldman Sachs predicts that Mexico will become the 5th largest economy in the world by 2050.
The economy of northern Mexico in particular is highly integrated with that of the United States and it is here that 85% of Mexico-US trade originates. The northern industrial city of Monterrey with a population of over 5 million and just 100 miles from the Texan border forms an integral part of a dynamic Tex-Mex economy that is set for a further injection of dynamism as the enlarged Panama Canal permits the entrance of the largest container ships from the Asia-Pacific region into the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico where already there has been significant development in ports, logistics and manufacturing.
Robert D. Kaplan in his book “The Revenge of Geography” reminds us that “the valley of Mexico and the country that has grown out of it forms one of the earth’s great civilizational cores”. Mexico is home to the largest proportion of civilizational heritage sites in the Americas. After five centuries of often turbulent history since the arrival of the Spanish and despite its many challenges Mexico is now well on its way tobecoming a first world nation
That’s good news for the whole world – ¡Viva México!