Population: 121.736 million
Area: 1 964 375 km2
GDP (PPP): 2.2 billion dollar (2015 estimate)
GDP per capita (PPP): 18 500 $ (2015 estimate)
Rate of growth: 1.18 % (2015 estimate)
Head of state and head of government: Enrique Peña Nieto
Mexico is a market economy which recently qualified for the trillion-dollar group. The economy is a mix of modern industry and backward agriculture, and private interests are beginning to dominate. Sectors such as railroads, ports and airports, telecommunications, electricity and natural gas extraction have been deregulated. Income distribution is uneven. Trade with the US and Canada has tripled since NAFTA took effect in 1994. Additionally, Mexico has signed free-trade agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, EEC and Japan – agreements that cover 90 percent of the country’s trade.
Mexico was under Spanish rule for over 300 years until it gained its independence in the beginning of the 18th century. The 2000 elections were the first time since the Mexican revolution in 1910 that the opposition parties managed to defeat Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). Prior to this, Mexico had plunged into an economic crisis when the pesos was devaluated in 1994. This brought about the deepest recession in the Mexican economy in 50 years. The country is still recovering from this period.
In the 2006 presidential election, Felipe Calderon from the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) won with 35.89 percent. However, Calderon won with only a small margin over Manuel López Obrador of Partido de la Revolución Democratica (PRD) who received 35.31 percent of the vote and Obrador initially refused to admit defeat. Nevertheless, Felipe Calderon assumed office as head of state and head of government on December 1, 2006. In Mexico the president’s term is six years and he is eligible for re-election.
During the first year of his presidency, Calderon managed to draw support from the opposition in reforming both the fiscal and pension systems. Remaining challenges in terms of economic reforms are changes to labour legislation, modernisation of infrastructure and privatisation of the energy sector.
Presidential elections were last held in 2012, which resulted in a victory for Enrique Peña Nieto from the PRI, a member of the Socialist International. The next presidential elections are held in July 2018.