In March 2016, Zimbabwe announced its decision to rigorously impose its indigenisation law; news that sent shockwaves through the Chinese investment community.
Shortly after his inauguration in 2012, President Nieto announced a major package of reforms to revitalise Mexico’s stagnant economy. The PRI administration introduced new education, energy, political, fiscal and telecommunications legislation. However, many of the reforms soon became open to influence from informal actors, primarily the business elite, who undermined their fundamental objectives.
While controlling the SNTE teachers union for almost 25 years, Elba Esther Gordillo garnered vast political influence and a reputation of being virtually ‘untouchable’. She was also able to amass a considerable personal fortune, allegedly using misappropriated funds to subsidise her lavish lifestyle. However, Gordillo's illusion of invulnerability was swiftly shattered by the Peña Nieto administration.
Free Article
Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, the founder of the Sinaloa Cartel, has risen to become one of the world’s most powerful drug lords, with a billion dollar transnational empire. Prior to his latest capture in January 2016, he had operated with relative impunity, surviving Calderón’s ‘war on drugs’, which conveniently wiped out most of his competition. This assessment addresses the long-held suspicions that he received direct governmental protection during this time.
The assassination of Gisela Mota, Mayor of Temixco, highlights how her political status was used by criminal networks to secure a favourable operating environment.
In Colombia it is estimated that corruption costs the country $4.2 billion per annum; with bribery so pervasive, it is viewed as a business formality. The ‘contract carousel’ and PetroTiger scandals are examples of the inefficiencies in the current legislation, as well as the endemic issue of collusion between the public and private sectors.
Free Article
With less than three weeks remaining before the polls open for Mexico’s latest round of elections, this assessment identifies the main candidates and their associated risks.
Free Article
This assessment considers some of the contemporary operational obstacles to the growth of foreign investment in Mexico, and suggests some ways in which they could be overcome.
The Colombian government’s majority stake in electricity provider Isagen, was abruptly sold to Canadian investment fund Brookfield Asset Management on 12 January 2016. Although Santos had long defended the move for plugging the fiscal gap and improving investment conditions, influential congressmen have joined the general public in reacting with outrage, calling it one of the greatest public losses in recent history.
Mexico’s corruption problem is a vicious circle. Few legal tools have existed to identify, punish and prevent actions such as graft, conflict of interest or influence peddling. Powerful corrupt officials have no incentive to fill that legal void, and so the cycle of failed promises and public losses has continued for decades. But does social media promise to break this cycle?
Free Article
Agriculture is playing an important role in keeping Mexico’s net foreign trade deficit to a minimum. The key question remains; how much is already being done to capitalise on agricultural potential, and should investors be confident enough to put their money into Mexican coffee, fruit, vegetables or meat exports?