BEFORE Carlos Salinas de Gortari became President of Mexico in
December 1988, a mere 20 families controlled Mexico's trucking
industry through government licensing. The monopoly made these few
After his election, Mr. Salinas - who holds a PhD in economics
from Harvard - soon moved to deregulate the trucking industry,
pushing the cost of transportation down and helping stimulate freer
movement of goods.
The policy steps he followed in doing this were developed in
detail ahead of time at the Autonomous Technological Institute of
Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City, in conjunction with several private
Mexican economic institutes.
Policy development was done locally, though the study was funded
by the International Center for Economic Growth (ICEG).
Mexico's successful deregulation of the trucking industry
illustrates the impact of the quiet work of the ICEG, which has
international headquarters in Panama City, administrative offices
here in San Francisco, and a field office in Washington, D. C.
Nicolas Ardito Barletta, chairman of ICEG's board of overseers
and manager of its international headquarters in Panama, is a
former vice president of the World Bank for Latin America and also
former president of Panama.
The board of overseers includes Paul Volcker, former chairman of
the United States Federal Reserve Board, Raymond Barr, former prime
minister of France, Roberto Campos, former minister of planning and
finance for Brazil, and Saburo Okita, former Japanese minister of
foreign affairs and director of planning.
Through ICEG, Dr. Barletta - who holds a PhD in economics from
the University of Chicago - is striving to help build healthy
economies in Latin America and other regions. ICEG has direct
connections with a network of more than 240 indigenous economic
policy institutes in 94 countries.
All are working to bring free-market reforms to their own
economies. The network of experts tries to get market-oriented
economic and human-development policies clearly stated and
ICEG's operating concepts are these:
* Facilitate the ability of countries to learn from each other.
* Utilize proven development concepts.
* Focus on practical, reformist policies, not on large grants or
* Stress local ownership and investing in people at all social
levels, giving them access to economic opportunity.
* Support policy experts who have done reform studies in
ICEG-related institutes and have later been appointed to government
Such appointments have happened in both Mexico and Argentina,
ICEG's methods often involve a cross-fertilization between
private sector planning and government implementation. …