Mexico is a great country, a privileged place in the world. This is said and repeated in forums and business meetings, our country has several characteristics that make it unique. I am convinced that we are called to be a power among nations, but I am also aware that we have several pending issues, some extremely complicated, which we must solve if we want to achieve a real balance among us who live in this world.
Social imbalances are expressed in many aspects of national life, many of the indicators tell us a sad story. Although we have made progress in some areas, there are still huge lags and imbalances. To mention just one: the wages of workers in the southern states are relegated compared the workers in northern ones. This is a reality that increases social gaps.
We have been listed by several studies as one of the most unequal countries in the world. If we want a better future, we must do something about it and get involved. How can we improve our situation?
An alternative in which I have all my confidence and see as a promising future is the so-called impact investments. These are a novel route that allows to develop projects that improve the environmental and social conditions in some regions, without forgetting the economic performance. In other words, these are businesses that have a broader vision, since they pursue impacts beyond the financial aspect. This type of investments transforms realities and can be measured with clear metrics.
The imbalanced situation that the world and our Mexico are going through, forces investors to think differently. The times in which we only sought to obtain a return have come to an end. It is necessary to bet on those projects that do produce an impact; we must correct the course and create communities with greater balance.
COVID-19 and its effects force us to rethink the future; economic consequences need more efforts to counteract the imbalances that, I am afraid, were accentuated. A 10% drop in our economy is expected, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has assigned us the worst projection among the Latin American countries. We, the business community and investors, must act with well managed and grounded impact investments. We should give a new face to education, health, housing, transportation, among many other concepts that will have to be modified to the new reality
Currently, there are several companies that are impacting different contexts with their activity. These are stories that allow us to admire and replicate intelligent and creative ways to respond to specific problems. These companies, led in most cases by young entrepreneurs, are proof that the new generations have a different direction, committed to the future.
I have seen companies work on projects that achieve an impact on the population in confinement, in indigenous communities, with victims of abuse and violence, with homeless children, disabled people, children orchestras, to mention just a few. I am convinced that these stories will multiply, and that is where impact investors can collaborate and make a change.
Our imbalances need to be addressed. The future of the country is either collective or will not be. Reality shows that governments alone, regardless of colors or parties, lack the capacity to resolve the huge challenges we face.
How much of the violence we suffer today does not have its origin in the abandonment and oblivion in which thousands of communities have been? If attention had been paid to marginalization many years ago, our present would be different. Efforts to balance existing differences is a wise way to invest in the future and build a better environment.
Larry Fink, Chairman of BlackRock, one of the world’s leading financial companies, has said that impact investments will be the ones that show the greatest growth in the future. This fund manager has shown special interest in Mexico, which could be good news, since its investment policy will come along with a vision of impact. We hope to see infrastructure projects that are more sustainable than the new refinery in Dos Bocas or the much-questioned Tren Maya.