Does Mexico have the wrong export strategy?

Ever since reading The World is Flat and checking out books on the creative economy, I've been wondering if Mexico is competing in the wrong niche.  Since before the start of NAFTA in the 90's, the country has focused on the maquiladora sector, basically using the wage differential between Mexico and the United States for its gain.

Since 2000, however, we found out that China, even being so far away, has basically strong competitive advantages to beat Mexico at that game, regardless of the location of both countries.  They can produce faster, cheaper and with less of a fuzz.  Mexican industries, however, have specialised in sectors that require just-in-time delivery or very specialised knowledge, leaving them vulnerable to the oscillation of supply and demand in those areas.

The Tec de Monterrey, one of Mexico's leading universities, has been trying to foster the creation of a knowledge economy, but I think that is not the right focus.  A knowledge economy presupposes the dependence on knowledge created elswhere, with the relevant fees for patents and such, whereas we should be focusing on going further than that.  This, however, needs more initiative than we seem to have…

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