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The obstacles of competitiveness

The main obstacles hindering our advancement are insecurity and the underdevelopment in higher education
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
16/11/2017
09:08
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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What exactly determines the success of a person, a company, or an individual? There are many factors involved. There are small countries which stand out more – in several areas – than countries with more population or territory.

In the corporate world, something similar happens: companies can be located in a country with low levels of social and economic development but still manage to outstrip it.

On a personal level, it's no different; the conditions of a country can be diverse, yet this doesn't stop an individual from going beyond the limitations of their nation.

Globally, one of the markers used to measure the success of a country is competitiveness, an economic term used to talk about levels of productivity which takes into account a series of components which range from technology to social stability, to determine the advantages over a competitor.

The National Competitiveness Index prepared by the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI) reports progress in this area – but a limited one. The main obstacles hindering our advancement are insecurity and the underdevelopment in higher education.

As a country, Mexico's success would be greater if insecurity didn't scare away companies from areas with high crime rates. The cost of crime chokes companies to the point they either lower the curtains and relocate, or modify the prices of their products, which impacts on competitiveness. A company (national or foreign) which doesn't have to spend extra due to insecurity will be, therefore, more competitive.

Competitiveness is also related to education. A country cannot aspire to a comprehensive development if it doesn't have enough human capital. According to the figures of the Ministry of Education, out of 100 children who began elementary school in 1999, barely 22 concluded an undergraduate course during the academic year 2015-2016.

Even if there are success cases in education, these are few and far in between. One of them is Ricardo Pedro Pablo, native from a Chinantec community in Oaxaca who is currently studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Pedro Pablo talks about attending one of the most prestigious American institutes: “It's very hard to stand out because everyone is highly competitive.” It's all about competitiveness once more.

It's true some criticize the current model of social competitiveness because it tends to be ruthless. In this country, however, there are individuals and companies which are capable of being competitive at a national and international level, yet the conditions which surround them don't allow them to stand out. If the country doesn't provide fair opportunities for all, it will condemn us all to underdevelopment.

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