SINGAPORE, Sept 11 Mexican President Felipe
Calderon said on Tuesday he hopes to push through labour reforms
needed to create jobs and boost economic growth, but was not
certain if the proposals will pass Congress before he leaves
Earlier this month, he sent a new proposal to liberalise the
country's antiquated labour laws to lawmakers as he sought to
fast-track the legislation before leaving office at the end of
The proposed labour reform could be a litmus test of how
incoming President Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Calderon's conservative National
Action Party (PAN) cooperate in the new Congress, which lasts
Calderon also plans to push through fiscal transparency laws
to ensure greater accountability in government.
"I don't know if I will get a positive answer from Congress,
but I hope that if Congress keeps the law, I will get at least
one answer," Calderon told bankers and business executives in
Singapore, noting it could take up to a month to get an answer.
"I am proposing to the Congress that any public tax revenue
will be tracked for the people since the very beginning to the
very end. That is possible today at Federal level because we are
supporting transparency but that is not possible, not yet, at
local level," he said.
Mexico's labour laws needed reform so that young people and
women can work in the most favourable conditions, he said.
"Mexico, in order to complete this transformation toward a
more competitive economy, needs to provide for its significant
labour market," he said, adding that more than 1 million people
were entering the labour force every year.
Turning to the global economy, Calderon said the outlook had
improved from a year ago although there were still many risks.
He also said that governments needed to keep a cap on spending
despite economic weakness.
"The public deficit is like a one-shot gun. Once you fire
it, you have to take measures to reload and of course stabilise
public finance. The big mistake of several economies during this
crisis was that they forgot this little dictate," he said.
He added that Italy and Spain, unlike Greece, were capable
of resolving their problems although the euro zone countries
needed to act quickly.
"Countries like Italy and Spain have enough economic
strength to honour their commitments... We are talking about a
problem of liquidity but if you don't act quickly you could
convert a liquidity problem into an insolvency problem," he
Mexico, Latin America's second-largest economy and the chair
of this year's G20 summit, has been attracting investor
attention in recent months despite its widely publicised
problems with violent drug gangs.
In August, Nomura predicted the country could overtake
Brazil as Latin America's number one economy in 10 years.
The country has benefitted from a recent rush of new factory
announcements, with Italian tire maker Pirelli,
Volkswagen's luxury car unit Audi and U.S. carmaker
Ford Motor Co announcing new investments.
Mexico's peso has risen about 7.5 percent against the
dollar so far this year.