Brazil & Mexico: Not much to show off!

While Mexico is hosting the G-20 meetings in the resort town of Los Cabos, Brazil is hosting the Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio. Appropriately, the NYT has a comparative feature on Mexico and Brazil:

Mexicans looked on with envy in recent years as Brazilians won a reputation as Latin America’s chosen people. With a surging economy and a prominent place on the world stage, Brazilwas the country poised for greatness while Mexico remained mired in bloodshed and destitution.

But just as momentum can change suddenly in a match at the World Cup or an event at the Olympics — both competitions that Brazil will host in the next four years — so can the dynamics between nations.

Last year, Mexico’s economy grew faster than Brazil’s, and it looks set to outpace its larger Latin rival again in 2012.

Brazil and Mexico probably have more in common than their supposed rivalry would suggest. Each has stabilized its economy after decades of veering from crisis to crisis and improved the well-being of many of its citizens.

In Brazil, “the dividends of what it did in the 1990s paid off with a political transition dovetailing with commodity prices,” said Lisa M. Schineller, a Latin America analyst for Standard & Poor’s. “It all came together.”

Now the two countries also face many of the same problems: inadequate schools, creaky infrastructure, bureaucracy and corruption.

As the charts show, for more than 60 years Mexico and Brazil have followed a parallel path, almost as if they were “linked” together. More recently Brazil´s RGDP per capita benefited from the “China pull”, much like in the second half of the 1990s Mexico benefited from the “Nafta pull”.

But when you compare both to China, it´s clear that their performance has been pretty mediocre!

6 thoughts on “Brazil & Mexico: Not much to show off!

    • Saturos – True. But Brazil has different problems in that area. Recently our former President thought it was quite OK to ask (and get) for a private meeting with a member of the Supreme Court and pressure him on the upcoming trial of a large corruption case while he was in office. The SC judge also thought it was OK to have a private meeting with the former President…

      • And what did the newspapers have to say about that? And what did the people on the street reading the papers feel that their options were for dealing with this? When Mexicans see their sons beheaded they feel as if they don’t have any options.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the Mexicans – there are powerful forces at work. The US ought to legalize drugs right away…

  1. Comparing other emerging countries with China (over the last couple of decades) is setting the bar awfully high.

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