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