In contrast to the snow-bound North, the weather for my brief trip to Mexico last week was close to ideal. It was in stark contrast to the economic weather in emerging markets these days, which is more like what the US Northeast is currently coping with. Is Mexico's economy more in keeping with its sunny skies, or is the situation as gloomy as in other emerging markets?
Mexico's human rights crisis is staring Canada in the face. According to Amnesty International, there are six times more reported cases of torture and ill-treatment than a decade ago. The 43 disappeared in Ayontizapa are only a needle in the hay stack of more than 80,000 estimated dead and 26,000 disappeared in the last 8 years.
This summer Mexico put in place a ban of food advertising to children. The target is junk. Restricting advertising to children is good policy as one part of efforts to have our kids eat nutritiously right from the start. However, in this increasingly interconnected world it is harder and harder for any one society to effectively constrain such promotions.
Everyone should act as a leader to make a strong environment for their business. If you are reading this, you may be a smart leader that knows how to earn money and build long-term relationships with your clients. If you analyze the key behind this kind of success you will find there is a simple answer: empathy.
One brief look at Mexico's GDP numbers for 2013, and you'd likely say, "What happened?" At the outset of the year, forecasts were calling for between 3-to-4 per cent growth. Instead, the final tally is looking more like 1.2 per cent. That's a pretty sizeable miss. If lots went wrong in the year, foreign investment in Mexico wasn't on that list; in fact, it had a banner year. What's behind this success?
I don't know about you, but this weather change is really getting me down. I'm stiff. I'm achy. All this misery is only leading to memories of spa experiences past. From the massage at Miraval and the "mudslide" at Solage, to a traditional Thai treatment in Phuket and therapeutic thermal waters in Italy... I've got a few I would jump on a plane for.
These flows provide us with access to key resources, fast-growing markets and allow for production systems that are better aligned to country or regional economic attributes owing to the efficiencies of global supply chains. As such, it is essential to keep a close eye on global investment movements. What can we say about recent activity?
While in Mexico, I was told "There's a tricky turn on Mex 1 just as you're getting into Tijuana. Be ready to make a quick left, almost an about-face, to get to the border crossing. If you miss it, you'll be heading into Tijuana." And: "If a Mexican cop pulls you over, just hand him 20 dollars. It'll save you a lot of grief." Roger that.