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The Best Sectors for Investing in Mexico, Plus a Few to Watch

When many Americans think about Mexico, they consider widespread poverty, endemic corruption, undocumented immigration, and an ongoing domestic drug war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives. And, to a greater or lesser degree, that's true. On the very surface of things, it seems investing in Mexico is the last thing anyone would want to do.

But to consider only these blighted facts is to miss out on the whole picture – a picture that, overall, looks very promising. Americans should be investing in Mexico.

Yes, Mexico faces a great many challenges, but it is dealing with those challenges. Talk of Mexico becoming a "failed state" is, frankly, ridiculous. Each day mail gets delivered, the trash is picked up, the lights come on, mass transit works, and food goes on the table. The truth is, there's tremendous opportunity in Mexico's rise.

Here are some other facts to consider…

Still worried about the peso's sudden, catastrophic crisis in 1994-95? Put those doubts aside. In nominal terms, Mexico has the world's 13th largest economy. By purchasing power parity, it ranks 11th.

Goldman Sachs and PriceWaterhouseCoopers call for Mexico to be the world's fifth or seventh largest economy by the year 2050. The World Bank considers Mexico an upper middle income country – an industrializing, emerging power.

For more than 70 years, until 2000, Mexico had been a de facto one-party state. But in 2000, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) lost the Presidency of the Republic, and, with the election of Vicente Fox, Mexico enjoyed political plurality. This addition of new political blood was a tremendous benefit to the Mexican economy, and successive administrations began to invest in infrastructure build-out.

The Mexican economy never looked back, and most of its sectors are growing nicely, or at least holding their own.

Several important factors make investing in Mexico a safe and attractive option for foreigners:

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