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When corruption hinders progress

Mexico will have to adopt anti-corrupt measures if it wants to be part of transcendental trade agreements
Flags of Mexico & the European Union – Image taken from @SE_mx
30/01/2018
08:50
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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A government in which corruption is the norm and impunity its logic consequence, sooner or later will find its practices questioned. Any authority in this scenario will find troubles consolidating democratic institutions and shall stop receiving investments due to the few legal assurances it can offer to businesspeople. Fighting corruption – from all points of view – offers greater long-term benefits to societies.

The most advanced democracies and the international community have understood economic growth is only possible when there is no corruption within public institutions, which means they will strive to protect international trade agreements. For this purpose and as EL UNIVERSAL publishes today, the European Union is planning to include an anti-corruption chapter in the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the European Union.

This situation is similar to what has happened during the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks, since one of the conditions imposed on Mexico was precisely that to consider an anti-corruption chapter. In the case of the EU-Mexico FTA, the partners seek to effectively fight corruption in public institutions.

The international community is prioritizing the fight against corruption as a stratagem to boost economic growth. Mexican citizens, whose main affliction is corruption, have found an unexpected ally in the trade agreements Mexico is negotiating with worldwide democratic powers. This is opening the door to the institutional reinforcement and economic growth Mexico needs.

The greatest advantage of this situation is that Mexico will have to adopt anti-corrupt measures if it wants to become a part of transcendental trade agreements; however, we have to question why such policies have to be implemented as a consequence of economic pressure and not out of a genuine conviction of getting rid of this terrible problem. This fact proves greater institutional efforts are required in our battle against corruption.

Here in Mexico, we have what it takes to put an end to corruption: the most pertinent example of this is the creation of the National Anti-Corruption System. Yet, several institutions are still attempting to weaken the progress made in this regard. Economic prosperity and democratic consolidation are two aspects which go hand-in-hand, thus corruption needs to be fought head-on and without delay. This is the time.

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