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.
In the midst of the holiday season, on December 28, 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law the "Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012." This Act seeks to initiate a whole-of-government approach to what looks to be an increasing threat to the United States, and by extension to Canada as well. Canada is no stranger to the Islamic terrorist threat. The millennium bomber -- Ahmed Ressam, the Toronto 18, and Omar Khadr, among other high profile cases, have brought radical Islam to the forefront of Canadian national security. Closing the embassy of the Islamic Republic in Ottawa last year shows that Minister Harper is serious on his promise.
I have been living "the good life" in Mexico for just over six weeks now. I love it, and I am seriously considering moving here for good.We always hear that Canadians are the nicest people in the world, and although I believe that to be an accurate statement, the Mexican people sure give us a run for our money.
Despite Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent announcements of trade talks with various Asian countries, joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a more important strategic victory for Canada. Bargaining alongside the United States, Canada can get concessions from other countries it couldn't get alone. And as a TPP member, Canada can better safeguard its relationship and hard-won market access to the United States than if it was excluded.
Many Americans and Canadians have struck all of Mexico off of their destination list because of an unfortunate string of violence in areas of the country nowhere close to La Paz -- home to what Jacques Cousteau called "the world's aquarium." But travel allows you to understand the rest of the world and lets you shed inaccurate notions you may have held before you arrived.