Middle Income Countries (MICs) are home to five billion of the world’s seven billion people and 73% of the world’s poor, with poverty rates within them ranging from around 2% to more than 60%. They form a heterogeneous and diverse group by size, population, income level, development potential, as well as economic and social achievements and performance. MICs also represent about one-third of global gross domestic product (GDP) and are major engines of global growth.
However, basing this classification exclusively on the limited indicator of GDP per capita overlooks the broadly recognised fact that development is a complex, non-linear process. It creates a group of countries that encompasses many different realities, in terms of challenges and vulnerabilities, as well as in terms of capacities and potential. MICs differ greatly among themselves not only with regards to socioeconomic conditions, but also in structural circumstances that determine their potential for development and production performance. Many MICs continue to face acute problems of inequality and lack of social inclusion and some, particularly in the lower tier of the classification, still have challenges and conditions similar to other country categories.
The graduation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to MICs poses particular challenges, which should be addressed with the continuous support of the international development community.
This is why we believe that there is an urgent need to review the current country classification system that is commonly referred to in global discussions on development.
As a complement to the increasing role of MICs as development co-operation providers, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation is a space to engage in discussions regarding the rightful place of MICs within the new development co-operation architecture. This includes the way in which the international community can continue to support their development efforts in order to enhance development results. This might include targeted and differentiated strategies, as well as different means to carry out such support, including multilateral, regional and bilateral.
Mexico as a MIC in development co-operation
Recognising its responsibility as a global actor and as an MIC, Mexico participates in international development co-operation in a varied and versatile manner. It has a dual character as both recipient and provider of development co-operation.
On one hand, development co-operation is a foreign policy tool to encourage sustainable development and to create global public goods. On the other hand, it contributes to our national domestic growth efforts. As part of the implementation of a responsible development co-operation policy, Mexico, through the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID), is increasing its participation as a provider of South-South and triangular co-operation, and is constantly looking for new opportunities in the educational, scientific, technical, cultural, and economic fields.
With that logic, Mexico participates in the global debate on international development co-operation’s new architecture, emphasising the need to support collaborative approaches among all development stakeholders.
Mexico meeting of the Global Partnership
The Global Partnership Steering Committee has identified possible deliverables for its first High-Level Meeting to be held in Mexico City in April, 2014 as:
- finding concrete actions by the international development community to support poverty reduction, inclusive growth and development in MICs;
- exploring alternative criteria for country classification and their implications for international development co-operation;
- identifying and sharing good practices and approaches in supporting developing countries during their transition from LIC/LDC status, with emphasis on avoiding setbacks in MICs’ development gains;
- studying the role of local governments in MIC’s development strategies; and
- exploring the coherence of developed countries’ aid and non-aid policies that impact on development of MICs (e.g. trade).
As the host country, our objective is for the Global Partnership’s First High-Level Meeting to be inserted within the larger process of defining the future international development framework. We aim to provide a valuable contribution for the establishment of a holistic, inclusive and action-oriented post-2015 development agenda that builds on the objectives of the Eighth MDG: a truly global partnership for development.
Juan Manuel Valle Pereña
As Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Juan Manuel Valle Pereña leads and co-ordinates Mexican international development co-operation policy efforts. Formerly, he was Head of the Banking, Securities and Savings Department at Mexico’s Ministry of Finance.