Caballero, scholar – Mexicans study HK on business facilitation

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Mr Mario Emilio Gutiérrez Caballero, Head of Mexico’s Federal Commission for Regulation Improvement, led a delegation to Hong Kong to learn how it can reform business regulations to allow people to do businesses more easily in Mexico. 

Hong Kong may have slipped to third place in terms of “ease of doing business”, according to the World Bank, but is nonetheless a renowned business hub drew at least one ‘gentleman’ admirer from across the ocean to learn from its success. Señor Mario Caballero (whose name translates as ‘knight’ or ‘gentleman’) brought a delegation to learn how Mexico can reform business regulations to allow people to do businesses more easily.

The visit was the third bilateral exchange this year alone. Hong Kong’s Intellectual Property Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its counterpart from Mexico in February and Invest Hong Kong opened a new office in Mexico in March.

Led by Mr Mario Emilio Gutiérrez Caballero, Head of Mexico’s Federal Commission for Regulation Improvement, the delegation met with Hong Kong’s Trade and Industry Department, and Economic Analysis and Business Facilitation Unit.

 

30 years of experience to cut bureaucracy

Regulatory improvement is not a new concept in Mexico. Efforts to improve the regulations and trim bureaucracy dates back to the 1980s. In 2000, a new federal law required the Federal Government to review its regulations every two years to cut down bureaucracy and assess the impact of existing regulations to the market. “Mexico is a leader in regulatory improvement and assessment,” Mr Caballero notes. It was confident enough to invited the OECD to review its progress in a report published last year by an independent, international panel who were suitably impressed with progress.

Despite Mexico’s success in regulation reform, Mr Caballero still sees Hong Kong’s well-established business regulations as providing a valuable lesson to Mexico. “When we talk about business facilitation, Hong Kong is a point of reference,” Mr Caballero says.

The problem in Mexico is that there are different rules at federal level, state level and municipal level, which poses a hindrance for people to set up and conduct business across Mexico. One of Mr Caballero’s major goals is to integrate the rules at different levels and make complying with all the rules an easy task.

The delegation also observed the implementation of e-governance in Hong Kong. In Mexico, the Government is launching its e-governance programme this month, which will enable people to look up all kinds of rules in the public sector and make transactions online.

Commercial dispute settlement is another focus the delegation sought to learn from Hong Kong. Mr Caballero points out that, while the settlement process in Mexico is slow, two states in Mexico have already completed a pilot test to reform the process and speed up the time required to resolve commercial disputes.