About Natural Resources Found in Mexico

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Mexico is a country full of paradoxes. Rich in natural resources, it often fails to find a way to use them in a way that benefits the nation as a whole, meandering between ineffective economic policies and total collapse. However, if the resources could be utilized well, it would be a tremendous economic advantage to the entire country.

Types

  • From energy to precious metals, Mexico has it all. Mexico's natural resources include oil, gold, copper, silver and natural gas. Many know the beauty of Mexico's natural landscape, and it has been utilized to a great advantage along the coasts, where visitors flock by the millions each year. However, Mexico also has substantial oil reserves, managed by a state-run oil company. For more information, see Resources below.

Benefits

  • With Mexico's abundance of natural resources, it has created a niche for itself in Latin America as both a prime producer and manufacturer of goods. Many factories making products that service the United States are located in the country. This provides good opportunity for use of natural resources at nearby facilities, thus cutting down on transportation of those raw materials. In addition, the raw materials themselves add to the country's overall economic output. In fact, in 2007, Mexico passed $1 trillion in GDP for the first time in its history. For more information, see Resources below.

Size

  • Mexico is the sixth largest producer of oil in the world. However, at this point, there is some speculation that it may have reached its peak production capabilities. If that is true, it will need to start searching for other alternatives in energy, much like the United States is already considering. However, for the time being, its oil production makes it somewhat self-sustainable in this area. This allows the country to not take on further national debt for energy needs.

Considerations

  • Despite widespread corruption, unemployment and underemployment, Mexico has experienced some good things, such as the introduction of free trade agreements with the United States, Canada and other countries in Latin America. This has allowed the country to export some of these resources at a profit without having to worry about restrictive tariffs. In the end, this has been seen as a benefit to the country in some ways.

Misconceptions

  • However, while these various free trade agreements have helped the country, the conventional wisdom prevailing seems to be that the country experiences no harmful effects from this agreement. This is not true. In fact, food that is produced much cheaper in the United States through automation and machinery is transported to Mexico to be sold there. This, some have argued, has stunted Mexico's ability to use some of its own natural resources in the agricultural area.

Time Frame

  • The corruption present in the 1990s and early 2000s has been recognized by the Mexican people and its leaders. As such, the country has undertaken a number of reforms, not only in terms of its economic system but the government as a whole. If successful over the long term, this should help Mexico take better advantage of its natural resources and the benefits they are capable of offering to the population in general.

Significance

  • If is to continue Mexico its emergence from its time as a Third World country to a modernized nation, its natural resources may play a key role. Already, the country has seen a resurgence in tourism as beach resorts accommodate both land travelers and luxury ocean liners. This will only help reinforce the thought in people's minds that Mexico is ready to lead a Central American renaissance.

  • Photo Credit John, Jeremy Stump, Scott Clark
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