Los dos Méxicos

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO – México está de moda en los titulares de los diarios, y ahora de manera por demás positiva. En enero se cumplió el vigésimo aniversario de la entrada en vigor del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN), que creó un mercado excepcional con los Estados Unidos y el Canadá y contribuyó a situar a México en los primeros puestos de exportadores de manufacturas. El programa de reformas del Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto ha sido objeto de la atención mundial y, en los últimos meses, los dirigentes mundiales de los sectores del automóvil y la alimentación han anunciado inversiones de muchos miles de millones de dólares en nuevas instalaciones.

De hecho, en un mundo que ha empezado a preocuparse por las economías emergentes, México destaca como una isla de oportunidades, con una situación fiscal estable y la perspectiva de una demanda en aumento de sus productos, ahora que la recuperación de los Estados Unidos comienza a cobrar impulso. Sin embargo, el México actual presenta también otro aspecto. A pesar del éxito del TLCAN y otros dispositivos de apertura de su mercado, el país ha registrado un crecimiento del PIB relativamente lento. En los últimos veinte años, el crecimiento anual del PIB de México ha promediado un 2,7 por ciento, que es bajo en comparación con el de otras economías emergentes e insuficiente para elevar los niveles de vida de una población.

El factor principal que explica el anémico crecimiento de México es un crónicamente débil ascenso de la productividad. Si México no consigue encontrar pronto formas de lograr una mayor productividad, podría quedarse limitado a una tasa de crecimiento del dos por ciento, en lugar del 3,5 por ciento esperado. El envejecimiento de la población y la disminución de la tasa de natalidad reducirán la incorporación de nuevos trabajadores a la fuerza laboral, la fuente de más de dos tercios del crecimiento del PIB en los últimos decenios.

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