News Column

U.S. to Help Mexico Improve Sci-Tech Industry

June 3, 2013
sci-tech test tubes

Mexico is set to kick-start its sci-tech industry, with help from the U.S.

According to a release, a joint initiative - the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research - will offer greater educational and economic opportunities to both countries, writes economist and World Review author Dr Jorge Balan.

'Both US President Barack Obama and Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto want to move away from the contentious topic of drugs, security and immigration, and pay greater attention to issues central to their concerns,' he says.

Since he was elected in 2012, President Nieto has aimed to drive technology and industrial learning to reposition the Mexican economy within global markets.

'This move requires a skilled workforce and a stronger research capacity linked to industry,' says Dr Balan. 'Mexico needs more and better engineers, computer scientists, and administrators. It needs to invest more in basic research.'

President Obama plans to take a new direction in the federal agendas for higher education and research in the US. His administration has announced moves to tackle shortfalls in science education by supporting strategic research and setting a goal of producing one million university graduates in the sciences over the next decade.

'The bilateral effort will focus on exchanges in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and the partner organisations for the Forum are the science and technology agencies rather than education authorities,' he adds.

'The coming years will be a test of the political capacity to move forward an agenda where previous administrations failed. The future of Mexico's positioning within the global economy depends on it.'

World Review author Dr Jorge Balan is a Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, New York. He works in the Institute of Latin American Studies and the Global Centres programme. He is also an external researcher with the Centre for the Study of State and Society, an Argentine think tank based in Buenos Aires.

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