(Reuters) - Enrique Pena Nieto, the runaway favorite to become Mexico’s next president, on Monday outlined a 10-point plan to bolster the economy if he wins an election due to take place on July 1, 2012.
Below are details of his pledges.
1. Maintain macro-economic stability.
- Mexico has enjoyed a sustained period of low inflation, allowing the country to keep rates lower than many Latin American peers.
2. Promote competition and overhaul regulatory approach to battle monopolistic practices.
- Key sectors of the Mexican economy are dominated by a few families like that of Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man.
3. Pass reforms to make state-owned oil monopoly Pemex more competitive.
- Pemex has been a sacred cow since Mexico nationalized the oil industry in the 1930s, but the company has a huge pension liability and oil output has slipped from earlier peaks.
4. Increase investment in “human capital” and reform Mexico’s educational model.
- Mexico fares poorly in international rankings of its education system and a powerful teachers’ union has been resistant to change.
5. Increase the amount of credit by spurring bank lending.
- At around 25 percent of GDP, private sector credit in Mexico is about half Brazil’s level and a fraction of that in China, where it is near 140 percent, according to Fitch data.
6. Double investment in infrastructure.
- Mexico has begun overhauling its communications networks and Pena Nieto made a name for himself as governor of the State of Mexico with popular public works projects.
7. Cut the proportion of people working in the informal economy and raise incentives for employers to create jobs that pay social security benefits.
- The informal economy makes up more than a quarter of Mexican jobs, according to the International Labor Organization.
8. Set out a new foreign trade strategy to compete with India and China and pursue an industrial policy that plays to Mexico’s strengths.
- Mexico is competing directly with the likes of China to supply manufactured goods to the United States.
9. Revive agriculture and boost tourism.
- Agriculture has been hit hard by globalization, hurting many of Mexico’s poorest. Tourism has suffered from violence stemming from the conflict between drug gangs and the government, which has claimed some 44,000 lives in five years.
10. Fiscal reform.
- Mexico has the lowest tax take as a proportion of GDP in the 33-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the organization’s statistics.
Compiled by Dave Graham; editing by Todd Eastham