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Getting it Right

Strategic Priorities for Mexico

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Mexico has been a reform champion, having launched ambitious reforms in a broad range of areas. While the reforms are showing first positive effects they are not delivering to the extent they could. On many dimensions of well-being, including education, health and security amongst others, Mexico still lags behind the OECD average and regional development remains very uneven. While Mexico has done a lot to build a competitive economy, progress has been too slow in two complementary areas, namely strengthening institutions and fostering inclusion. The capacity of the public sector is weak, corruption remains widespread and the rule of law is week, all hindering trust in government institutions and the effective implementation of policies. Similarly, persistent inequalities and widespread poverty do not only mean that higher growth does not translate into widespread gains in well-being; these inequalities are also holding back growth as Mexico is not using all available talent. Mexico has taken measures to tackle these issues, but important implementation gaps remain. It will be important for the next government to build on past reform efforts, ensuring the full and effective implementation of already legislated changes to allow for reform continuity and to launch additional reforms in several priority areas, including the rule of law, education and social protection. Only then will Mexico be able to deliver a higher quality of life for all its people.

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Fostering development at the regional level

Mexico’s success in achieving its national development goals requires continued efforts to foster inclusive sustainable development across all its regions and cities. Inter-regional disparities remain high in Mexico relative to other OECD countries, due in part to stark differences in the capacity of state and local governments. It is crucial for lagging states to catch up with their best-performing peers. While Mexico’s rapid urbanisation has increased opportunities for city-dwellers, Mexico’s cities are not reaping the full extent of possible productivity benefits associated with scale. National urban policy approaches that focus on the quality of the urban environment, not simply the quantity of housing, are needed to reduce sprawl and the environmental and social impacts of having workers living far from jobs.

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