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MARCH 2005 EDITION ARCHIVE
Legal UpdatesThe Federal Congress approved a new Bio-security Law for Genetically Modified Organisms, which will regulate the use, introduction, sale, importation and exportation of genetically modified organisms.
- The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) has prepared a draft reform of the Stock Exchange Law, which attempts to promote the access of medium-sized businesses to capital risk, debt and stock markets, through the introduction of a new voluntary regime for these companies to adopt good business practices, cooperate with the government, disclose information and protect minorities. The draft is to be discussed this year in the Federal Congress.
Business & Politics OutlookIn the past month, the States of Baja California, Guerrero, Quintana Roo and Hidalgo held gubernatorial elections. The PRI maintained the governorships in Quintana Roo and Hidalgo, while the PRD maintained the governor position in Baja California. The PRI, which for the last 76 years had governed Guerrero, lost said position to the PRD.
- Political commentaries as to the February elections and, particularly, the downfall of the PRI in Guerrero, favor the presidential aspirations of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, governor of the Federal District, who maintains an intense political fight against immunity proceedings initiated against him.
- The Federal House of Representatives approved legal reforms permitting Mexican absentee voting. Nevertheless, approval by the Senate is pending and the Federal Electoral Institute needs to define the process and obtain the necessary budget to make the project functional. It has been calculated that approximately 5 million Mexicans who live in the United States would have the right to participate in the next presidential elections.
Economic IndicatorsThe United States dollar is quoted at the lowest level in the last eleven months, at 11.01 pesos per dollar.
- The index for the Mexican Stock Market continues its rise, placing at over 13,740 points, which indicates an annual increase of more than 7% in peso terms and more than 9% in dollar terms.
- The number of permanent and temporary urban workers affiliated with the Mexican Social Security Institute grew 2.8% in the last twelve months, the largest increase since February 2001.
- Production in the national manufacturing industry grew by 5.9% between November of 2003 and November of 2004. During said period, the national consumption of electricity grew by 1.5%.
- The Consumer Confidence index grew 13% between February 2004 and February of this year.
- The Country Risk index for Mexico, published by J.P. Morgan, reached its lowest level historically, at 148 points, reflecting continuing confidence in Mexico.