Economy of Mexico
Mexico is a developing country with an economy based on the extraction of crude oil, the transfer of funds from the Mexican emigrants working abroad, tourism, and intensive industrial, mining and agricultural activities. For many years, oil has been the main source of income for the public sector; nevertheless, world prices and the lack of investment in search of new oil fields turn this natural resource into an issue that will affect the health of the economy in the years to come. On the other hand, the funds transferred to their families by the labor force that migrates north into the United States have become an income of the outmost importance within the Mexican economy. The services sector, tourism in particular, is another major contributor in the Mexican gross national product. The country offers as much as 26 places considered natural or cultural heritage of the world, and has also dedicated much time and effort in developing various specialized areas of tourism, such as bird-watching, extreme sports or culinary trips. Industry is one the most important activities in the country, and it employs a fourth of the economically active population; automobiles, cement, steel, textiles, chemicals and drinks are some of the major activities within the Mexican industry. Mining represents another important field of economical activity, silver in particular as Mexico is the biggest world producer of this precious metal. Regarding the agricultural sector, corn and beans, the base of Mexican diet, represent the two products with the largest crops, followed by coffee, potato, tomato, plantain, sorghum and sugar cane. Mexico is the country that has signed the most international trade agreements globally, but the United States of America is still its major import- exportassociate. Mexican main exports are crude oil, machinery, textiles, coffee and chemical products. Despite the fact that the country's economical expansion has held a steady rhythm in the last few years, this has not been enough to improve competitiveness and reduce poverty, both in urban and rural areas. According to the World Bank, $7,310 dollars was the average annual income per person in Mexico at the end of 2006. The local currency is the Mexican Peso.