By: President Enrique Peña Nieto
After the global financial crisis of 2008-09, G20 members pledged to take action to revive economic activity and generate quality jobs. Mexico is committed to this agenda and embraces the priorities of the Turkish presidency: investment, inclusion and implementation.
As Co-chair of the G20 Investment in Infrastructure Working Group, Mexico has promoted the adoption of country-specific strategies to improve private investment and the management of public-sector capital expenditure.
Our Congress passed a comprehensive fiscal reform to simplify the tax system, increasing compliance and raising revenues by 3% of our gross domestic product. This measure will translate into an adequate provision of resources for education, science and technology, social security and infrastructure.
The energy reform – a cornerstone of Mexico’s deep transformation – updates our constitutional framework to allow private investment, as well as to boost technological change and competition in this strategic sector.
Furthermore, the National Infrastructure Program, aimed at increasing the coverage and quality of infrastructure through public-private partnerships – among other possible schemes – comprises more than 700 projects to be developed within the next few years, and has an estimated investment value of more than $500 billion.
Policies for stability and growth
In a closely interconnected world, our countries cannot dismiss the role of developing countries in achieving sustainable and resilient economic growth. We must generate conditions for small businesses to thrive and policies to tackle serious challenges.
For that reason, I proposed two major initiatives that have been approved and are already being implemented. While the economic competition reform is eliminating entry barriers and levelling the field for all actors – particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises – the financial reform is granting access to cheaper credit for Mexican entrepreneurs.
At the same time, I am convinced that the G20 can significantly contribute to enable women’s full and equal participation in the labor market – a commitment of last year’s Brisbane Summit – and to allow them to reach decision-making positions in both the public and private sectors.
Last but not least, we must focus our attention on the full implementation of previous commitments. The G20 has already developed a critical mass of policies for stability and growth, as well as mechanisms to follow up on their execution. We have to monitor progress, adjust where necessary and adapt our strategies to continuously changing circumstances.
For instance, despite the G20’s standstill commitment, global trade – a powerful engine of economic growth – has been lethargic for years. In this scenario, Mexico is a strong advocate of free trade: 11 agreements with 46 countries, total trade worth $800 billion and the recently agreed Trans-Pacific Partnership make us one of the most open economies of the group.
G20 members have to continue working together to effectively oppose protectionism, facilitate commercial exchange and strengthen the multilateral trading system.
A refocused agenda
The year 2015 has been a difficult one for the world economy, marked by historically low commodity prices, economic slowdown and volatility in financial markets, brisk currency fluctuations and heightened risk aversion. Now is the time for the G20 to assess the progress achieved so far and to refocus on the key issues of the agenda, by enabling policy coordination and promoting strong, balanced and inclusive economic growth.