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Viewpoint: Five myths about Mexico

As US President Barack Obama visits Mexico this week, he may want to consider the new realities of the country, says Shannon O'Neil, from the Council on Foreign Relations.

President Obama's visit to Mexico is part of a long tradition of diplomatic relations between the US and its neighbour to the south.
But while many Americans feel that they understand the basic economic and social forces that drive Mexico, the realities are much more interesting.
Here five myths about Mexico, that have a direct impact on American foreign policy, are debunked.

Mexico Rises in Business Process Outsourcing with India’s Annual Economic Outlook Reporting a 10% Loss in BPO

Tijuana, Baja California, MEXICO. India's pre-budget Economic Survey report was delivered to the Indian Parliament at the end of February. The annual economic report showed a 10% loss over the last 5 years in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) business to other countries making a notable dent in India's $20B world share. Mexico is emerging as a formidable player in the BPO sector with other strategic locations such as the Philippines and Brazil. According to the NASSCOM report, most of this loss is in the voice contract sector.

The Tijuana-based Call Center Services International (CCSI) cites this as yet another sign that Mexico is becoming a more attractive nearshore option for North American firm's call centers and BPO needs.

Mexico Is a Top Destination for Doing Business and Shelter Company Programs Are Proving To Be a Worthwhile Approach

Tijuana, Baja California, MEXICO. Mexico ranks as top destinations for doing business according to the annual "Doing Business Report" released for 2013 by the World Bank. Mexico improved 6 positions in the last two years according to World Bank findings, showing Mexico as a formidable player in international business. Shelter programs in Mexico offered by consulting and administrative service firms offer global corporations the protection with oversight in Mexico's pro-business environment.
From reducing the number of times a company pays taxes from 6 times in 2012 over 27 times in 2011, to the elimination of the minimum $5,000 USD required to start a business, Mexico is coming out of the international business gates at full steam.

Mexico, overshadowed by Brazil for years, has secured its place as the new favorite among investors looking to put cash into Latin America.

"A lot of funds are looking into Latin America as sort of a portfolio of opportunities. Brazil became a lot less attractive in the last year and a half," said in an interview Clinton Carter, director of research at Frontier Strategy Group. "Mexico has definitely come up as a priority."

In the past 12 months, iShares MSCI Mexico Capped exchange-traded fund rose more than 17 percent, when a fund trailing Brazil—iShares MSCI Brazil Capped Index Fund—lost over 15 percent.

"The mood in Mexico is clearly constructive. A lot of faith is being put in the ongoing reform process under President Pena Nieto, including deregulation of key industries," wrote Jens Nordvig, global head of currency strategy at Nomura Securities in a recent note.

Mexico, overshadowed by Brazil for years, has secured its place as the new favorite among investors looking to put cash into Latin America.

"A lot of funds are looking into Latin America as sort of a portfolio of opportunities. Brazil became a lot less attractive in the last year and a half," said in an interview Clinton Carter, director of research at Frontier Strategy Group. "Mexico has definitely come up as a priority."

In the past 12 months, iShares MSCI Mexico Capped exchange-traded fund rose more than 17 percent, when a fund trailing Brazil—iShares MSCI Brazil Capped Index Fund—lost over 15 percent.

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