Diplomatic Speakers Series – Mexico
A talk on Mexico as an emerging economy

The Department of International and Middle Eastern Studies hosted Ambassador of Mexico to the UAE H.E. Mrs. Francisca Elizabeth Mendez Escobar for its third Diplomatic Speakers Series, who presented “Mexico as an emerging economy.”
Ambassador Escobar started by sharing some facts about her home country of Mexico. She mentioned that Mexico was the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, with 287 different languages spoken. The presence of human settlements in Mexico dates back approximately 14,000 years and builds the foundation of some of the most impressive civilizations in the world, such as Toltec, Aztec and Maya, just to mention a few.
She continued about the 32 cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites, mentioning that according to the World Tourism Organization, Mexico is the ninth most visited country in the world. By territorial extension, Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world. “We are among the 12 most biologically diverse countries in the world. We have practically all
the climates zones, mountains, oceans, deserts, lagoons, jungles, forests, etc.,” she commented. In macroeconomic terms, Mexico is the fifteenth largest economy in the world. It ranks 11th in global oil production.
She continued on topic, saying that emerging economies are characterized by high rates of growth, industrialization, expanding domestic markets, export potential, and a significant and growing population.
She explained, “Because of the large number of elements that may influence the potential of an economy to generate growth, there is no consensus on which economies should be considered as emerging. However, most conceptualizations include the BRIC block (Brazil, Russia, India and China). In addition to this, there are other categories of emerging economies such as the Next Eleven (N11) group, which includes Bangladesh, South Korea, Egypt, the Philippines, Iran, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey and Vietnam.”
She continued, “Although different emerging countries have similarities, they also have important differences. One of the most important is the difference in the productive growth sectors and the degree of industrialization.”
She added that emerging markets now attract nearly 50% of global Foreign Direct Investment, which constitutes 25% of total global Foreign Direct Investment. The most populous countries are China, India, Indonesia and Brazil which represent 48 percent of the world population and therefore the largest number of potential consumers.
Quoting the International Monetary Fund, she said that 45% of world exports are generated by the BRICs. On the other hand, they consume more than half of the global energy and in only five years have increased by 80% world demand of oil. In the last years, their joint domestic consumption in the BRIGS countries equals US domestic consumption. China alone owns 32% of global national central bank reserves. The total for all BRIGS is 41%.
On her own country she said, “It is noteworthy that not only has Mexico been included in most emerging countries categories, but has also been classified as an advanced emerging country. Mexico has been classified as an emerging economy due to the following characteristics: population bulge, export capacity, average increasing manufacturing, industrialization among others aspects.”
In 2016 Mexico exported around 400 billion dollars, placing it as the twelfth highest exporter in the world. Of these exports, 89.3% are manufacturing goods; 6.1 % petroleum products; 3.4% agricultural products -berries- and 1.2% other exports. Mexico is the world's largest exporter of flat-panel TVs and refrigerators. It also exports cars and trucks like the Ram 1500, the Ford Fiesta and the Chevrolet Trax.
Ambassador Escobar continued, “It is quite a remarkable achievement for a country that until the middle eighties predominantly exported oil. This transformation was driven by market openings created by northern neighbors in the context of NAFTA.”
She concluded, “From 2012 onwards, major structural reform processes took place in the energy, electricity and education sectors. A major consequence of the energy reform is that foreign companies can now directly invest in the oil extraction. Currently Mexico, also in the context of new political realities on the continent is in a process of further diversification of its economy through export promotion policies and the attraction of foreign investment.”
The Department of International and Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Arts and Sciences at AUD recently launched the Diplomatic Speaker Series, inviting diplomats from around the world to speak to students, allowing them to engage and learn from experts.
The Department offers a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies as well as a Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies. Read more here.