Although Mexico’s immigrant population is still relatively small, (only one percent of the country’s 110 million people are foreign born), the nation is increasingly becoming a magnet for immigrants. This is coming as a surprise to many that have witnessed the out migration to the United States that the country is particularly known for. Many, however, see Mexico economic opportunity as something that is increasingly luring new arrivals that range from top level educated executives to unskilled laborers.

Many of the immigrants that have made their way to Mexico over the last several years have their origin in South Korea. When compared to the number of South Koreans living in the country in 2000, the number of immigrants to Mexico from the Asian nation had increased by a factor of ten by 2010. Recent South Korean immigrants to Mexico have noted that, after English, Spanish is the second most studied foreign language in the country’s schools. Mexico economic opportunity is the reason why Lee Hwan-hee and other young people have left their homeland.

Mexico is also attracting foreign born immigrants countries as varied as Japan, Germany, France, Spain and the United States. Many of them are drawn by what they see as an energy that does not exist at the present in their homelands. Some Mexican economic experts see now as a period during which Mexico has the potential to make the jump to achieving the first world status that it has been pursuing for decades , but note that there are several potential obstacles to this eventuality from coming to fruition. Among them are:

  • The persistence of marked economic and social inequality.
  • The difficulty that domestic companies have in participating in export markets due to an inability to access sufficient credit
  • An education system that requires a significant amount of improving, if this moment in time is to be capitalized upon.

Mexico economic growth, however, has, in the past several years, outstripped that of hemispheric neighbors such as the United States, Brazil and Canada. Because of this, some feel that there is, at present, an economic dynamic in Mexico that is hard to come by anywhere else.

The full original article can be read at the New York Times.