PAVING THE WAY FORWARD

Mexico 2019 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

Mexico is targeting a growth strategy that will result in greater integration and inclusive growth that reaches young people, MSMEs, regions, and productive sectors.

Graciela Márquez Colín

I want to share the main priorities of the secretariat that were established after a diagnosis of the growth of the economy in the long term. Toward the beginning of the 1980s, the Mexican economy changed its trajectory and experienced a steep decline in growth that affected the population, its needs, and social debt. And not only is growth low, but the fruits of that growth were concentrated in certain social sectors, regions, and branches of the economy. So, not only has there been a low percentage of growth, but an unequal one that was not divided throughout the country as a whole. Hence, we have developed a program for the Secretary of Economy that will not only reactivate growth at a sustainable rate but will also allow us to solve inequalities. We propose three pillars for the Secretary of Economy: innovation, diversification, and inclusion, which will complement each other.

On the subject of innovation, it is only through the adoption and incorporation of technology that we will be able to achieve high and sustained growth in the coming decades. Today, we are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, and it will forever change the way we are used to conceiving the production of goods and services. As a society and country, we cannot remain outside of that revolution. That is why we believe that the Ministry of Economy has to create an ecosystem based on innovation. In other words, we have to bet on innovation and, at the same time, close the economic and social gaps that exist in our country.
The second pillar that we proposed for the secretariat has to do with diversification. Our trade is highly concentrated. The US represents 73% of our exports, and 57% of Mexico's imports comes from the US. This tells us we have space for diversification. We have signed free trade agreements with more than 40 countries, and that is where we must find space for commercial diversification.

SMEs have been left out of the opportunities offered by export, and we have to change this with an industrial and diversification policy that allows the formation of more integrated supply chains and global value chains. It is also worrisome that 81% of exports are executed in only 12 metropolitan areas, and the north is responsible for 59%. We have to make space for other regions in the country to export as well. To solve this, Mexico has to invest in logistics such as the rehabilitation of ports, roads, and connections. We have to integrate the country and its export strategy. It is a strategy that not only looks at exporting, but the entire value chain as well.

When proposing a new growth strategy, we have to include young people. We already have a very important program called Youth Building the Future. We have to educate young people to incorporate themselves in a better way into the economy, so that they have more jobs and better salaries. We have to integrate more productive sectors, have an aggressive policy of small, medium, and micro enterprises, and close the geographical gap of development. A successful growth strategy has to lead us to integration and inclusive growth that reaches young people, MSMEs, regions, and productive sectors. At the Secretariat of Economy, we believe that the welfare of Mexican society can be achieved through innovation, diversification, and inclusion. The work of the secretariat is a collective work. We believe we can push this momentum through policies that generate wealth for the country. If wealth is generated in the country and we facilitate the operation of companies, we will be in a position to promote diversification, innovation, and inclusion.