The challenge of sustained growth: Jose Angel Gurria, the next president of the OECD, spoke about how Mexico should go beyond stability.
During his discourse, Gurria assured that the challenges Mexico faces have changed. According to the administrator, who served as Foreign Minister and Finance Minister of Mexico during the Ernesto Zedillo administration, the country has gained macroeconomic stability and now faces the challenge of driving economic development through its competitiveness.
"Now it's not about overcoming sexenal crises, since we have gained the culture of economic stability; that is to say, the lowest deficit, inflation, low interest rates, debt and the free flow of money," he told AMCHAM members. "Now the challenge is sustained growth and the generation of employment with productivity."
Gurria underlined the fact that the presidential candidates, rather than focusing on political anecdotes, should concentrate on presenting clear projects so that the country can revert the loss of competitiveness it has experienced, which has cost Mexico investment and employment opportunities.
The OECD's 30 member countries announced Gurria's appointment as secretary general from 1 June 2006. He takes the post in succession to Donald J. Johnston, who is retiring.
Gurria was one of six candidates for the post. An economist with a distinguished career in public service, he currently acts as adviser or board member for a number of private companies, multilateral institutions and non-profit associations focusing on development, international finance and globalization.
As a member of the team that negotiated Mexico's admission to the OECD in 1994 and subsequently as a government minister, Gurria developed close relations with the OECD, overseeing the initial years of Mexico's participation within the organization.
As secretary general he will oversee the work of the OECD's Secretariat, whose staff of 2,000 economists, lawyers and others assist governments in tracking and addressing issues relating to national economies and the global economic environment.
Laura Suarez Samper is editor-in-chief of BUSINESS MEXICO.