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Does Mexico want to look like the BRIC or does the BRIC want to look like Mexico?

14 May 2010 15 Comments

Mexico and Brazil are quite similar countries with economies that are competing globally to become new economic powers. Both nations have been affected by the financial crisis in 2008. We could even say that due of the nature of their business and because it was in the U.S., its largest trading partner, precisely where the crisis originated, Mexico has been more affected.

Brazil is part of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) emerging bock countries. According to several specialists, these countries have the greatest potential for growth and development. Some even claim that Mexico wants to belong and be part of this group. However, a review of available statistics shows that Mexico has already passed the stage of being a developing country with potential, and is now a reality. In other words, the BRIC aspire to look like Mexico and not vice versa.

In recent months there has been much fuss about the BRICs, especially China, India and Brazil. China has made great progress, in fact when we hear China we know we are talking about the country with the largest population in the world and economically it is estimated to exceed U.S. economy in about 25 years. In the case of India, we hear about the power in the knowledge economy, they have an arsenal of very well prepared engineers at a relatively low cost and are specialists in developing quality software worldwide. If we mention Brazil, we hear the significant progress that they have had in recent years and its recent influence on the world stage. For example, Petrobras, for its technological innovation in deep water and their way of doing business in the oil industry.

Interestingly, what few people know is that the term BRIC was coined by a Brazilian who placed Brazil, a country with 180 million inhabitants, with India and China, countries with more than one billion inhabitants each. It is often heard that Brazil knows how to sell itself and Mexico doesn’t. However, if we look closely at the figures, Mexico is better placed than Brazil in figures such as per capita income, human development index, women empowerment, economic freedom, ease of doing business, as well as less violent deaths. We have not been able to exploit that image though.

It would seem that Mexico should be compared not with BRIC countries, but with the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that includes the select group of the world’s most developed countries. Mexico is an OECD member since 1994 and, proudly, the first Latin American country to join this select club. It was also the only latin American member until this year that Chile also was invited. The OECD member countries have reached a higher level of economic development, and are considered to be the most advanced and developed countries on the planet. Within this select group or league of countries, Mexico is closing ranks to climb to the top.

So the obvious question is: To who should Mexico be compared? The developed world invites us and sees us playing at the OECD to close the gap with the select club of countries with more development, while the BRIC wants to be more like Mexico. Mexico still compares itself to the BRIC countries.

From what context should we look at Mexico?


  • james said:

    Mexico with all its problems is in better fundamental terms
    than Brazil.

    1)Corona, Jumex, Cemex, Bimbo are well established brands. Brazil
    does not compete with Mexico on branded mass consumption
    manufactured goods.
    2)There are remittances coming into Mexico.
    3)Tourism is inherently more vibrant in Mexico (Cabo has multi-million
    dollar Real Estate geared for foreigners).
    4)Mexico proximity to U.S., Cuba, and Central America is head above
    the isolation of the South American Giant in some far away land.

  • Rafael said:

    Mexico should compare itself with its needs and aspirations, which are big enough …

  • Jorge (author) said:

    Very Powerful!!!

  • Does Mexico want to look like the BRIC or does the BRIC want to … « Brasil: Economia Global said:

    [...] the original: Does Mexico want to look like the BRIC or does the BRIC want to …   No [...]

  • jonas gonzalez said:

    All we know mexico will be richer than now. But its not going to be a big country that pushes the world economy. Its gonna be always following US.
    Brazil has a bigger mass consume ang biggers industries; Check out PETROBRAS, IMBEV( CORONA BEERS OWNER), ANTERCTICA, VALE…


  • Jorge (author) said:

    Thank you Jonas.
    The point of the article is to show and understand who Mexico is, and to see where Mexico stands in the world today.Mexico ia a great country and a OECD member not a BRIC member. In 2050 is going to be fifth biggest economy in the world.In the end, Mexico is competing only with Mexico. With moving to the next level, with making a difference in the world. And it will. Its about being not doing what makes the difference. When you compare yourself you lose your power. Our source of power is within us. Mexico is running its own race. With freedom, liberty and ease of being. Just wanting to be known for where is stands.

  • ISKINDER said:

    It was about time someone put this issue in the right perspective….

  • Jorge (author) said:

    Thank you ISKINDER!!
    Let´s expand the conversation about what Mexico really is!! Please share this site with friends to start turning around things. It all starts by spreading the word to the world!

  • Mexico is a Major Contributor to the World´s Economic Growth | TheCatalist said:

    [...] growth. According to BBVA the criteria to become an EAGLES member are more accurate than the BRIC´s. This is because it focuses on the incremental GDP of the countries rather than in its absolute [...]

  • Jorgeg said:

    I’m totally agree with your analysis. But it’s sure that we should make the necessary structural reforms who will make possible a bigger economic growth in Mexico. If we don’t do that, these emerging economies will win the “race”.
    Another problem that I see in Mexico, it’s the mexicans; we are very pessimists about our present and future. I’m sure that a lot of mexicans doesnt know some statistics who shows that we are in better conditions than Brasil, and the medias reports (in Mexico and in other countries) are just about the narco- crime news.
    We have a huge perception problem.

  • Anonymous said:

    [...] and is now a reality. In other words, the BRIC aspire to look like Mexico and not vice versa. Does Mexico want to look like the BRIC or does the BRIC want to look like Mexico? | TheCatalist Ademas considerando que ahora ya no son BRIC si no BRICS, incluyendo Africa del Sur cuya economia [...]

  • johanna van zanten said:

    Thanks for that great article. I think Mexico should be forming a closer alliance with the northern nations on an equal footing, as Mexico has so much to offer to the US and Canada. For instance, at the moment the “undocumented” Mexican citizens that live in the US need to be made legal and have protection form sub-par wages and the Mexican government needs to make that an issue in negotiations. Without the Mexican workers, a lot of the industry and agriculture in the US would fall on its face, and the small children of many Americans would have nobody looking after them. This could be a bargaining position. In Europe they have had similar problems with exploitation of the “guest workers” as these were called from northern African states, who didn’t see their family very often while trying to send their earnings home to their family. It was a blemish on Europe’s name and against international standards and human dignity. Now they have gained citizen status and can chose to work and live wherever and are protected under the law; their family can come over and settle with them and go to school. It makes common sense and benefits both countries.
    Then any treaty between the 3 nations needs to include restrictions and controls, to stop the illegal trade in weapons from the US to both sides of the border, south and north, to Mexico, and Canada as well. With the current laws in the US to allow anybody to bear arms–which is crazy in this day and age–weapons import is virtually unchecked and gangsters have open access causing many deaths and much mayhem, in their own nations, as well as their neighbouring nations, especially in Mexico as a byproduct of the drug trade, delivering the drugs to the users in the US.
    The treaty might as well then address whether legalization of some drug use and regulation of others might be beneficial to all 3 countries, including how to implement those laws collaborative.

    Mexico is a young country with a large labour force, many natural resources and a lot expertise in those areas. They are a worthy partner and as a nation could be very prosperous. No need to shrink and act small during trade negotiations, in my view.

  • Jaws7 said:

    In the end what matters is the quality of life the majority of the people enjoy. If this means not being part of the top ten what does it matter. It does no good for a nation to aspire to be in the top ten if all they have achieved is inflation and pollution. What is of value to Mexico is its proximity to both the US and Canada. China may become the number one economic power but the US, Mexico and Canada taken as an economic region will enjoy a higher standard of living than you will see in most countries that are in the top ten.
    And when you take their economic power as a region there are few countries or regions that will compare with it in the next twenty years. This region is rich in resources and energy, and the most interesting places to travel in or live in. There is a cooperation and peace that exists between these nations that they do not have to keep large armies on their borders.

  • Jorge (author) said:

    Thank you for your comment Paul.
    NorthAmerica´s future looks pretty much as a region or block. Every country makes an unique and powerful contribution. Bright future ahead of us, we just need to be able to see it.

  • Jorge (author) said:

    Thank you Johanna.
    We do have a common future, we just need to see it. We are on the verge of a change in our relations as we know it. It is by creating a NortH American team as we will stand taller than our individual selves!!

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