The Economist Forum


Mexico City, 6 October 2011.– President Felipe Calderón attended the “Mexico 2011: Change from the bottom up?” event, organized by The Economist’s office in Mexico.

During the forum, the president fielded questions by Tom Wainwright, the magazine’s Mexico City bureau chief, and a number of attendees. The issues they dealt with included changes in the president’s relationship with citizens; violence, lack of security and arms dealing; the legalization of drug consumption; economic growth and trade with the U.S.; monopolies; democracy in the framework of next year’s elections; G-20 and the stiffening of migratory laws in certain parts of the U.S.

Regarding the first topic, the president said that his government has made a significant effort to listen directly to social claims, thereby reducing their distance from citizens. On the subject of security, the president said that the latest flare-up of violence has already begun to achieve lower rates than in previous years and is actually approaching a point of inflection. When asked about market solutions, with respect to his declarations at the UN General Assembly, President Calderón declared that if the American government is unable to reduce the demand for drugs, then it must reduce the flow of money criminals receive as a result of their illegal business.

On the subject of economic issues, the president said that the growth of the per capita GDP in Mexico has failed to reach expected levels due to the strong economic recession of 2008. He added that although heavy trade with the US is beneficial for the national economy, Mexico is actively seeking to diversify its markets. As for monopolies, the president declared that both public and private monopolies can only be effectively combated if there is a framework to ensure compliance with the decisions of the Federal Commission on Competitiveness.

The president also confirmed the fact that next year, when Mexico holds the G-20 presidency, this will yield results in the most important current issues, since actions have been undertaken with groups such as B-20.

Lastly, the president declared that the most urgent structural reforms concern labor, since this will help boost Mexico’s competitiveness and the approval of Public-Private partnerships.
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