‘If the MINT coun­tries could change the world’

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hu­man sac­ri­fices on pyra­mid al­tars, to an am­bi­tious, for­ward-look­ing democ­racy of 120 mil­lion peo­ple.

It now has the sec­ond-largest econ­omy in Latin Amer­ica (just be­hind Brazil). It’s do­ing so well, in fact, that economist Jim O’Neill has iden­ti­fied it as one of four fu­ture eco­nomic gi­ants – just as his so-called BRICs (Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia and China) have emerged to be­come na­tions of boom­ing wealth and progress, so the MINTs (Mex­ico, In­done­sia, Nige­ria and Turkey) are pre­dicted to follow in their foot­steps. “If the MINTs reach their po­ten­tial, they could change the world,”O’Neill said on a BBC Ra­dio 4 pro­gram in Jan­uary.

Why Mex­ico? For a start, pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto, who was elected at the end of 2012, has been amending the con­sti­tu­tion and push­ing through rad­i­cal new re­forms that ap­ply to almost ev­ery as­pect of so­ci­ety – from ed­u­ca­tion, tax and bank­ing to telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, fi­nan­cial ser­vices and en­ergy.

It’s all aimed at boost­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity, open­ing up the econ­omy to for­eign Mayans and Aztecs, the ar­rival of Span­ish Con­quis­ta­dors led by a grotesque Her­nan Cortes in the 1500s, the cru­elty of the In­qui­si­tion, the Mex­i­can Civil War of 191020, and Karl Marx point­ing in the di­rec­tion of a utopian fu­ture, while gold-grab­bing cap­i­tal­ists and cor­rupt, carous­ing priests carry on be­neath him.

Since the found­ing of“New Spain,”now known as Mex­ico (it gained in­de­pen­dence in 1821), the coun­try has moved from a pre-colo­nial place of blood-thirsty sun­wor­ship­pers who con­ducted thou­sands of in­vest­ment and ready­ing the coun­try for “sus­tained growth,”as Pena Ni­eto said.

“What is con­vinc­ing about the‘Mex­ico Mo­ment’is that it co­in­cides with a re­mark­able shift in the world econ­omy,” O’Neill notes.“For Mex­ico, things are hap­pen­ing on the sup­ply and the de­mand side – just as they are en­act­ing their re­forms, they are find­ing that they can sud­denly com­pete with the world’s big­gest ex­porter.”

In part, O’Neill says, that’s be­cause things are chang­ing in that ex­port gi­ant half a world away.“China has been de­lib­er­ately boost­ing wages, as well as al­low­ing the cur­rency to rise, so sud­denly any num­ber of coun­tries can find them­selves in a po­si­tion to com­pete, and none more so than Mex­ico.”

MINT Con­di­tion

At the heart of it all lies Mex­ico City, its im­mense na­tional cap­i­tal which is vir­tu­ally equidis­tant from both the coast­lines of the Gulf of Mex­ico and the Pa­cific Ocean, and

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