Specialization and Technology in Mexico: A Virtual Pattern of Development and Competitiveness?
By the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, Mexico has shown important transformations in its pattern of industrialization and competitiveness. It is hard to determine whether this pattern might become a successful one in the near future. However, some points about the features which are presently prevailing can be emphasized: 1) The structural change in the composition of Mexican exports and the improved performance in competitiveness when the dynamics in market shares are considered. This pattern is mainly related to again in competitiveness which is supported by what has been defined in terms of static allocative efficiency. Still, when actual competitiveness is analyzed, domestic industry appears to maintain the traditional structure which emerged during the ISI period. In a sense, sectors and firms that developed technical capabilities and economies of scale in this period possess higher opportunities to achieve actual competitiveness. 2) The specificity of this pattern seems to support the hypothesis that the new Mexican specialization has not been followed by a change in both the development of production capacity and technological capabilities. Moreover, when the analysis is extended in the most recent years, it seems to confirm how the maquila industry is one of the leading actors in industrial modernization. The diffusion of this type of industry introduces only very weak linkages with domestic productive sectors, strengthening the specificities of the competitiveness pattern in terms of production capacity and technological capabilities.
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