Latin America and Globalization

This important new program compares the process of globalization as it interactively emerges among the different trading blocs of the world. Mexico leads Latin American countries in:

  • breaking away from decades of statism;
  • seeking new external trade agreements to promote growth; and
  • embracing privatization of its public sector industries.

Mexico's ability to build upon NAFTA allows it to effectively take the role in expanding free trade in the Americas. Mexico has emerged at the cutting edge of de-stratification and privatization. In this era of 'instant' communications provided by new air transportation and telecommunications, Mexico has made gains to:

  • Privatize industries and open the country to foreign investment, including fishing and mining industries, port cargo services, railroads and airports.
  • End state-private sector collusion in creating and maintaining inefficient enterprises protected behind high trade barriers.
  • Open commercial banking to the domestic private sector and permit the entry of wholly-owned foreign banks.
  • Deregulate air and trucking cargo transportation.
  • Decentralize and reinvigorate primary and secondary education by beginning to rewrite obligatory textbooks to de-mythologize statism and de-stigmatize the role of the private sector.
  • Advocate the free flow of foundation funds to complement the free flow of profits in the global marketplace.

The program on Latin America and Globalization is based on cooperation among UCLA's Program on Mexico, UCLA's Latin American Center, and PROFMEX. Headquartered at UCLA, PROFMEX coordinates 88 institutes worldwide as they conduct Mexico policy research.

Current Research Projects

1. Regional Trade Blocs And Their Impact On The World Economy

The spread of international capital under standardized rules has produced a growing interest in participating in international trade blocs. In joining NAFTA and APEC, Mexico has openly embraced a policy of stressing free trade externally. This is an important example, especially in light of other trade blocs such as MERCOSUR which is currently grappling with an internally oriented free-trade model. PROFMEX's Concept of 12 Virtual Economic Blocs Regional blocs (with number of member countries) are defined here as if in existence since 1973 without regard to formal date signed or still to be signed in the future. Some countries such as Mexico belong to several blocs (e.g. NAFTA and APEC).

        Milions of People

1973 1983 1993
APEC-18 1,570.50 1,829.30 2,099.80
ASEAN-10 307.40 381.20 460.00
CIS-5 208.40 221.30 232.20
EU-15 345.80 345.80 357.50
EU-25 442.20 461.40 475.20
NAFTA-3 289.70 331.40 376.80
MERCOSUR-6 148.00 182.20 218.50
ACS-25 132.80 167.80 208.30
FTAA-35 536.00 636.60 747.50
SAARC-7 743.40 937.90 1,179.80
SADC-12 74.40 98.80 128.90
A. Pop. in FTAs 3,359.8 3,945.70 4,600.80
B. World Pop. 3,860.00 4,685.00 5,544.00
C. % A/B 87.00% 84.20% 83.00%
ARAB-18 129.60 172.30 230.00

ACS-25 Assn of Caribbean States
APEC-18 Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation
ARAB-18 ARAB-18 Non-Free Market Countries (not FTA)
ACS-25 Assn of Caribbean States
ASEAN-10 Assn of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN FTA)
CEE-10 Central and Eastern Europe
EU-15 European Union-15
EU-25 European Union-25 (EU-15 + CEE-10)
FTAA-35 Free Trade Area of the Americas
NAFTA-3 North American Free Trade Area
MERCOSUR-6 Southern Cone Common Market (incl. Bolivia and Chile)
SADC-12 South African Development Community
SAFTA-10 South American Free Trade Area
SAARC-7 South Asian Assn. for Regional Cooperation

2. Development of Private Foundations, Not-For-Private Profit Organizations and Community Development Foundations

Mexico is currently successfully addressing changes needed to achieve international access to funds from the U.S. Not-For-Private Profit (NPPO) sector. This policy research builds on the Mexican experience and has two objectives:

  • Create an international standard for the flow of tax-deductible funds devoted to foundation activities of and/or to benefit NPPOs.
  • Establish a framework allowing for private and community foundation tax deductions. These, together with worldwide grant-making founda- tions can begin to compensate for the state's shrinking finances and the shortage of funds for health, education, welfare, science, and charity.

3. Privatization in Latin America

This research compares countries and industries. Specific attention is given to de-regulation and privatization of activities previously owned by the public sector which aree being turned over to the private sector.

4. Internet and E-Mail Links

Creation of policy-networking for communication and debate.

Speakers Forum

Located in a major metropolitan center of commercial, financial, and diplomatic importance on the Pacific Rim, UCLA invites visiting world leaders statesmen and newsmakers from around the world.


PROFMEX's conference on 'Mexico and the World' in Morelia and Patzcuaro in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, from December 8-14, 1997. International experts will examine the role of Mexico and the world in the rapidly changing context of global links in communication, trade, commerce, migration, tourism and ecology. Discussion includes migratory labor issues and investment opportunities.


UCLA's Latin American Center, operating under the auspices of the Office of International Studies and Overseas Programs, conducts training and research programs. For more than 30 years, the Center has drawn upon over 450 dedicated faculty members in 22 departments including the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, fine arts and professional fields. In 1995, U.S News and World Report ranked UCLA's Latin American Center at the top of all such programs in the United States. It is the acknowledged leader in Globalization Studies.

PROFMEX, The Consortium for Research on Mexico ( is the worldwide network for Mexico policy research. It includes some 88 institutional members and now also have over 600 individual members. PROFMEX was created in 1982 to enhance collaboration among researchers on contemporary issues in U.S.-Mexican relations including border issues, Mexico's place in global - as well as North American and NAFTA affairs. PROFMEX receives funding from t he Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, El Paso Community Foundation, and the Mexican National Science Foundation among other sources.

UCLA's Libraries. The University Research Library , law, management and policy libraries are internationally top ranked in 20th century studies. URL, houses one of the largest and most varied Latin American collections in the world - over 280,000 volumes with close to 12,000 volumes added annually. Important holdings of unbound government and international documents, microfilm materials, manuscripts, 30,000 flat maps are supplemented by more than 6,500 periodicals and 35 daily newspapers from Latin America.

UCLA's Media Library has an extensive collection of films, videotapes, filmstrips, and slide-tape programs on Latin American themes. It also has reference books and catalogs from educational and feature film distributor's which are used to obtain materials from outside sources upon request.


Mexico and the World, is the electronic Web journal published by PROFMEX. It instantly reaches the general public around the world and its member offices in such places as Beijing, Moscow, Cairo, Kyoto, Toronto, Havana, Buenos Aires and Paris. The web journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and current analysis on Mexico=' leading world role in dismantling state ownership of industry and control over many different facets of life. Research places Mexico=' role into comparative perspective with its globalization experience.

Statistical Abstract of Latin America (SALA) published annually by UCLA' s Latin American Center, provides the most recent statistics available on the 20 major Latin American countries. This date is compiled from 450 sources worldwide utilizing sophisticated quantitative research techniques and advanced data-processing technologies in the filed of population, land, resources, social conditions, governments, and economies of the region. SALA is the only one-volume comprehensive statistical reference on the region and it is marketed worldwide to libraries, businesses, research institutes, and educational institutions.

UCLA Latin American Center Publications publishes scholarly books, a journal and reference work on Latin America.

The UCLA Latin Americanist Newsletter presents news about student activities as well as faculty research.

Program on Mexico
Latin American Center
11361 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

James W. Wilkie
Chair, Program on Mexico

Margaret Carroll Stepanek
Research Director
Latin America and Globalization
Fax (310)734-1718