Developed states are battling to grow, and in the middle of it all there is always a fear of getting lost in the jargon, of forgetting how tough it is for poor states to transform. Mexico is an excellent example of this because the growth rates for emerging nations is slowing. Normally, when you meet Mexico, you think of a relatively modern country but with persistent poverty. It is a good picture of the state of emerging nations at the moment – they have seen consecutive years of reforms of varied degrees but the gap between the globalised rich and the poor majority could not be wider.
Amongst the positives going for Mexico, you can count how it’s economic benefits is shared with the United States of America because of geographical location – weekly a lot of exports go out to the biggest consumer market in the world, more than it does in a year to China. The country is home to the biggest industrial base in Latin America – the nation exports more cars than the big automobile exporters Germany, Japan and South Korea. It’s oil industry is more welcoming of private investment now, than it was previously, more people chose to live in cities because of the opportunities open to them here.
However, the harsh reality is that since 1994 – the year when Mexico joined the American Free Trade Agreement, income for every person has not gone further than an annual average of 1percent. Nearly half the population is poverty-stricken, there is lawlessness abound, corruption and selfishness amongst politicians who are forgetting their civic duty towards those that live marginalised. The rural countryside is less filled with opportunities and this needs to change because a densely populated city, with a growing infrastructure for transport, power and security is not a favourable idea.
In cities, drug dwellers and a heightened rate of crime is not an uncommon sight, like over-populated slums, with nearby schools and employment prospects. A century ago, the architecture of the modern Mexican economy was built and this was inclusive of roads and railways tied to industrial zones that were connected to ports and the northern border. So, a lot of the city isn’t connected giving rise to problems such as Mexico City’s wholesale market selling seafood to beach resorts, far from the coast.
Like that common scene in Latin America, Mexico has also become a hub of foreign companies, such as Audi, who is moving it’s industrial activities in manufacturing from Ingolstadt, Germany to this country, meaning that cars made here will reach a global audience. Mexico City has been an attractive destination for German automobile companies for decades because the city is nestled between two continents, two oceans and has trade agreements with 45 countries.
Audi’s move there has created a national employment pool of 3,800 jobs but a large percentage of the local population haven’t even finished primary school but people welcome the news of local governments pitching in to fund a university education to become a technician. Many live off farming small plots of land, while others work in piecemeal factory jobs and those farmers who made money out of selling land to Audi, washed it all away throwing family parties, rather than do the smart thing and invest it.
Government interest in the wellbeing of Mexicans comes after decades of not building any hotels or developing businesses that could help car plants. The city locals are getting modern and the rural countryside is still in the past because they want to be. It’s an interesting contrast because Mexico City is home to huge houses, artistic spaces in competition with each other, a vibrant big-city culture, frequented by travellers and tradespeople but only for towns; the countryside is where you will meet people as diverse as midwives, herbal doctors and firework-makers. It is widely believed that economic performance is on the mend however because aside from cars, Mexico City also builds planes, electric goods and electric equipment so manufacturing is rife here. So the prospects for Mexico City is improving, where the gap between modernisation and poverty is getting somewhat more narrow because of good infrastructure.