Justin Trudeau's speech on the importance of North America on Monday echoed most of the current wisdom on Canada's standing in North America -- we're in trouble and the issue needs some serious attention. The idea for a cabinet level committee on the U.S. relationship proposed by Trudeau is good, but in reality it would have to be a committee on North America, which means including Mexico. And Trudeau seemed half way there in his speech.
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?