MEXICO CITY – Mexico has demonstrated resilience amid the current global economic situation and trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are likely to survive, the CEO of Spanish banking giant BBVA, Francisco Gonzalez, said on Tuesday.
“The Mexican economy’s resistance is admirable in light of the challenges it has faced,” Gonzalez said during a board meeting of BBVA Bancomer, a unit of BBVA and Mexico’s largest financial institution, in Mexico City.
The focus should be on creating “sources of cooperation” in the world, allowing trade deals like NAFTA, which took effect on Jan. 1, 1994, to continue to exist, the BBVA CEO said.
NAFTA, whose members are Canada, Mexico and the US, will be renegotiated in the next few months at the request of US President Donald Trump, who contends the trade deal destroyed tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in his country and benefits Mexico.
“A good renegotiation will work to the benefit of all” the member countries, Gonzalez said.
The BBVA CEO said the economic landscape was different from a year ago due to the arrival in the White House of the populist Trump and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
Gonzalez, however, said the recent Dutch and French elections indicated that “populism is receding,” but “geopolitical crises” are growing in regions like the Middle East, requiring global solutions.
The global economy is likely to grow at a “modest” 3.3 percent rate this year, the BBVA CEO said, adding that the EU should work to strengthen the European integration model.
“Europe, from the standpoint of political and economic stability, is not a problem,” Gonzalez said.