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Mexico Turns a Corner

MEXICO CITY – Years of political squabbling and divided governments weakened state institutions in Mexico, greatly hampering their ability to meet their basic obligations to the country’s citizens: to foster economic growth, to create well-paying jobs, to provide quality education and social services, and to guarantee public safety. But that has begun to change, thanks to a political innovation that has united Mexico’s political leaders around a shared reform agenda.

In 2012, I campaigned for the presidency on a promise to transform Mexico into a more modern, dynamic, and competitive country, one that could compete and succeed in the twenty-first century. In order to achieve this, I proposed major structural reforms. Soon after a majority of Mexico’s voters backed my candidacy at the ballot box, my team met with the leaders of the country’s three main political forces to define a common reform agenda and a collaborative framework to realize it. The result was a political agreement on a clear and comprehensive action plan consisting of 95 points, now known as the “Pact for Mexico.”

Among the Pact’s provisions are major structural reforms that all parties agreed to support at the outset of the current administration. A package of education reforms, which Congress has already approved, will improve the quality of teaching and the formation of human capital throughout the country. Teachers will be assessed, schools will be managed with greater autonomy, and a commitment to academic excellence will become the backbone of the public education system.

Equally important, telecommunications reforms will expand coverage, lower consumer prices, and improve the quality of services. By allowing more open markets and leveling the playing field, we seek to increase productivity and ensure that companies operating in Mexico have access to strategic inputs.