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Sep 25, 2013

Mexico to escape recession after floods, but risks to growth rise: Reuters poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico is unlikely to be dragged into recession by severe flooding that has laid waste to large areas of farmland, destroyed homes and killed dozens of people, but the flooding has increased risk, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

Mexican gross domestic product (GDP) suffered a surprise contraction of 0.7 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three month period after eking out growth of less than one tenth of a point in the January-March period.

Sep 25, 2013

Prominent Mexicans urge government to decriminalize marijuana

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A broad spectrum of prominent Mexicans, including former ministers, businessmen, artists and a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, on Wednesday urged the government to decriminalize marijuana in a bid to curb gang violence and corruption.

Since 2007, about 80,000 people have been killed in turf wars between drug cartels and their clashes with security forces, leading to calls for a change in policy in Mexico and elsewhere in the U.S.-led war on drugs.

Sep 8, 2013

Mexico dilutes fiscal reform as plan dodges sales tax

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico aims to increase taxes on higher earners, levy a charge on stock market gains and scrap loopholes, according to a draft of the government’s fiscal reform, but it has retreated from widening sales tax amid an economic slowdown.

Applying sales tax to food and medicine is a political hot potato in Mexico, and its omission will dilute the impact of the President Enrique Pena Nieto’s reform because it was seen as one of the most effective ways of raising more revenue.

Sep 5, 2013

Analysis: Mexico’s president lines up reform blitz, legacy at stake

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto has only been in charge nine months, but the success of his presidency depends largely on how he steers divisive economic reforms through Congress with the opposition by the end of this year.

Pena Nieto is targeting economic growth of some 6 percent a year – up from an average of barely 2 percent since 2000 – via a number of key reforms: opening up the oil industry to foreign investors, boosting tax revenues, fomenting competition in major industries and overhauling a broken education system.

Sep 5, 2013

Mexico’s president lines up reform blitz, legacy at stake

MEXICO CITY, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto
has only been in charge nine months, but the success of his
presidency depends largely on how he steers divisive economic
reforms through Congress with the opposition by the end of this
year.

Pena Nieto is targeting economic growth of some 6 percent a
year – up from an average of barely 2 percent since 2000 – via a
number of key reforms: opening up the oil industry to foreign
investors, boosting tax revenues, fomenting competition in major
industries and overhauling a broken education system.

Sep 4, 2013

Mexico tax overhaul to shield poor from food, medicine hikes: lawmakers

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government is poised to break a taboo and tax some foods and medicine under an tax overhaul proposal but will take measures that shield the country’s poorest, ruling party lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The bill will also very likely propose raising the top income tax rate for the wealthiest to as much as 40 percent from 30 percent, several officials from President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) said on condition of anonymity.

Aug 26, 2013

Mexico moving to grow trade ties with Asia

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (Reuters) – Asia could become twice as important to Mexico as an export market over the next five years as the country strengthens trade ties with the fast-growing economies of the region, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Monday.

Latin America’s biggest exporter is working to diversify its trade to reduce its dependence on the U.S. market, which takes in more than three quarters of Mexico’s exports.

Aug 23, 2013

Protesting Mexican teachers stir trouble for government reforms

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Schoolteachers in Mexico City staging disruptive protests against education reform have fired a warning shot at President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government as it prepares to push an ambitious economic agenda through Congress.

On Friday, thousands of teachers held up traffic bound for Mexico’s main international airport a day after federal lawmakers were forced to meet in a convention center next to a race course when the demonstrators blocked access to Congress.

Jul 27, 2013

Breaking taboo, Mexico government aims to tax food, medicine

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico plans to boost its tax coffers by an extra $50 billion a year with an overhaul that aims to extend sales tax coverage, close tax loopholes and could impose charges on capital gains.

Saddled with one of the weakest tax takes in Latin America, President Enrique Pena Nieto will present Congress with a plan by September to substantially improve revenues, including divisive measures to apply value added tax (VAT) to some foods and medicines, according to several people familiar with the plans.

Jul 25, 2013

Analysis: Mexico to rewrite ‘sacred’ text in long-awaited energy reform

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – How far Mexico goes to overhaul its oil industry this year hinges largely on a single sentence in the constitution that has stood as a bulwark against private capital for more than 50 years.

Article 27 of the constitution bans the government from granting private sector concessions for oil or gas, making their exploitation the sole preserve of the Mexican state.