A year ago the Pacto por México was made public and I wrote about it sharing our excitement and enthusiasm over the prospects of such an ambitious political pact, which for the first time made public 95 commitments agreed upon by the main political parties in Mexico. These included the development of a society of rights and freedom, economic growth, employment, competition, accountability and to combat corruption.
It was not until major reforms on education, competition and telecommunications passed smoothly through Congress that the Pacto por México began to be taken seriously — although there were always those who kept predicting its inevitable failure.
Despite that the left-wing party PRD, one of the political parties within the Pacto por México and one of the three main political forces in Mexico, decided to “leave” the Pacto por México. But the positive effects of the Pacto por México are permanent and will have a direct effect on the Mexican population and an indirect impact on Mexico’s role as a global player. It will change the landscape of Mexico and constitutes the basis for a new and modern framework for sustained development of a country, which still does not realise its strength and has work to do to achieve its full potential.
Irrespective of whether or not the PRD will reintegrate itself to the pact process, we must fully understand that the framework has changed.The Mexican market has been true to its principles and continued to open up to private investors. As is the case with any change, there are challenges but most of all, opportunities.
So far, the Pacto for México has delivered a major education overhaul; a new legal framework of the amparo proceeding; openness and expanded oversight in the telecommunications market; new and expanded authority to the antitrust authorities; reforms to increase tax revenues; a new and modern framework to the financial sector; a new framework of the federal electorate body; political reforms, that although with limitations, reinstate re-elections for lawmakers and mayors of municipalities, and last but not least, the end to Mexico’s 75-year-old oil and gas monopoly.
Not bad taking into account that some of these reforms required a majority vote from two-thirds of Congress and had to be ratified by the majority of the State legislatures.
There is still much work to be done, but let’s all be clear that the success of these reforms will depend on private investment following and making the most out of the opportunities offered by Mexico.
The year ahead will challenge all of us within the legal sector to get up to speed on the changing environment. Those that stay stagnant and ignore trends will be left behind.
The Pacto for México has given us more than enough for a new and promising beginning. It is up to us to create trends and make things happen.
It is the time for Mexico. It is our time.