Office of the Press Secretary
The White House, Washington, DC
March 22, 2002
U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity
President George W. Bush and President Vicente Fox today welcomed a concrete action plan to promote economic development in the parts of Mexico where growth has lagged and fueled migration.
Origins of the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity
When they first met as Presidents, in February 2001, President Bush and President Fox explained that, 'Among our highest priorities is unfettering the economic potential of every citizen, so each may contribute fully to narrowing the economic gaps between and within our societies.'
In September of 2001, during President Bush's first state visit, President Bush and President Fox took an important step toward realizing that vision. They launched the Partnership for Prosperity, a private-public alliance to harness the power of the private sector to foster an environment in which no Mexican feels compelled to leave his home for lack of jobs or opportunity.
After six months of work, the Partnership has produced a concrete action plan. The plan draws upon the best ideas emerging from two conferences (one in Merida, Mexico and one in Washington, D.C.) attended by over one hundred experts from the private and public sectors. The Partnership has been led in the United States by Deputy Treasury Secretary Kenneth Dam and Under Secretary of State Alan Larson.
Leveraging the Resources and Expertise of the Private Sector
The action plan builds on the President's New Compact for Development. As President Bush said last week before the Inter-American Development Bank, "Most of the money for development does not come from aid. It comes from domestic investment, foreign direct investment, and, especially, from trade." The action plan, therefore, seeks to leverage private sector resources and expertise.
The action plan includes projects to facilitate investment in small business, housing, agriculture, roads, ports, airports, and information technology. Specific examples include:
Just as President Bush called for more accountability in development, the action plan calls on the Partnership for Prosperity to hold itself accountable for producing results.
Accordingly, the Partnership will continue and oversee the implementation of the action plan. In six months, the Partnership will report its progress. Drawing on President Bush's Management Reform Agenda, the Partnership will rate itself using a traffic light system of red, yellow, and green lights: